China Environmental News Digest

Daily updated Environmental news related to China

Thursday, December 08, 2005

China considers building dam to contain pollution

BEIJING, Dec. 8 (Xinhuanet) -- China has agreed to consider positive proposals, including building a temporary dam to stop the toxic spill from reaching a Russian city, said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang here Thursday.

"What Ch ina is going to do is what it takes to reduce the possible impact of the pollution to Russia to the minimum level," Qin said at a regular news briefing.

"The Chinese side has agreed to take positive consideration to build a dam in the Fuyuan waterway," he said.

The Fuyuan waterway,linking the Heilong and Wusuli rivers along the two nations' border, supplies water for homes and businesses in Khabarovsk, an important city in Russia's Far Eastern region. The city's water intake is in the lower reaches of the Fuyuan waterway.

The details about the dam are under discussion between China and Russia, said Qin.

The current pollution spill in Songhua River, a tributary of the Heilong River, was caused by an explosion at a Chinese petrochemical plant on Nov. 13 in northeast China's Jinlin province. It is estimated that about 100 tons of the carcinogens benzene and nitrobenzene fell into the river.

Qin said China and Russia have kept close and instant contact on preventive measures until now, which shows the spirit of Sino-Russian strategic partnership of cooperation.

A Chinese working panel left for Russia on Wednesday to discussthe issue with Russian departments, said Qin.

On Tuesday, the Chinese Ministry of Water Resources also sent an expert panel to Jiamusi, where the waterway stands, to study the possibility of building the dam.

According to the initial investigation, there are two advantages to constructing the dam.

"The water at the Fuyuan waterway is 0.91 meters at its deepest and 0.3 to 0.4 meters deep on average. In addition, the current velocity of water there is almost zero," said an expert

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