China Environmental News Digest

Daily updated Environmental news related to China

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Monitoring tightened as pollution spill flows downstream

HARBIN, Dec. 5 (Xinhuanet) -- Northeast China's Heilongjiang Province has intensified monitoring of water quality along the Songhua River as the pollution spill belt flows further downstream towards Jiamusi, the second largest city in the river's lower reaches.

Jiamusi has launched water quality surveillance at several monitoring stations, including Dalai, Fujin, Tongjiang River stations and a downtown post.

As of 10:00 a.m. Monday, the front of the pollution stretch is approaching Hongkeli town, 323 kilometers from where the Songhua River joins the Heilongjiang River and its peak is flowing towards Gaoleng, 410 km from the juncture, the provincial environmental protection bureau said.

Reports from downstream monitoring stations say the density of nitrobenzene at Dalianhe river stood at 0.1932 mg per litre at 11:00 p.m. Sunday, 10.36 times higher than the national safety level, while benzene density was normal at 0.0019 mg per litre.

As of 9:00 a.m. Sunday, no benzene or nitrobenzene had been detected at Dalai monitoring station.

No benzene had been detected at Sifangtai water supply source by 6:00 a.m. Monday, and nitrobenzene density remained below the threshold set by the state.

Experts say the 150-km pollution stretch, which slowed down due to subfreezing temperature, is expected to reach Jiamusi on Tuesday.

The water pollution was caused by a chemical plant blast on November 13 in the neighboring Jilin Province, resulting in serious leakage of poisonous substances into the Songhua River.


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