Chinese authorities are investigating Taiwan-based Apple suppliers Foxconn and UniMicron, following accusations last week that the companies are releasing water tainted by toxic metals into rivers.
Bloomberg reported on Monday, environmental groups and China's Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs (IPE) alleged the two Apple suppliers released toxic waste into rivers near their Kunshan plants.
"We hope that corporations can shoulder their responsibilities in protecting the environment,” Ma Jun, a director with IPE, one of five organizations to criticize Foxconn and UniMicron, said in the report.
Foxconn had also been in talks with environmental groups in the past two days, even though no specific plans were made, Ma added.
Foxconn, Apple deny allegations
Ding Yudong, Foxconn's vice director of local arm of China's environmental regulator, said in the report all emissions from the plants in Kunshan meet relevant laws and regulations.
Kitty Potter, a spokesperson for Apple, also told Bloomberg, "We do not tolerate environmental violations of any kind and regularly audit our suppliers to make sure they are in compliance."
UniMicron did not respond to a request for comment when approached by Bloomberg.
This is not the first time Apple is probed over environmental concerns. Back in September 2011, the IPE along with other environmental groups accused Apple of using Chinese manufacturers that pollute the environment.
Other than environmental issues, Apple supplies also faced other problems in China. Last month, China Labor Watch accused Pegatron of "serious" labor violations in three factories, including the employment of underage workers, insufficient wages and poor working conditions.