China Environmental News Digest

Daily updated Environmental news related to China

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Remote monitors to protect environment

By Ma Lie (China Daily)
Updated: 2006-02-28 05:44

XI'AN: A remote monitoring system is being installed to control industrial emissions in Shaanxi Province in Northwest China.

"We will first put remote monitors on the chemical factories, oil refining enterprises and those releasing toxic and harmful substances during their production," He Fali, director of Shaanxi Provincial Environmental Protection Bureau, told China Daily on Monday.

The monitors will be linked by a network covering the province, He added.

The bureau will also build environmental protection emergency response centres in Xi'an, the provincial capital where the bureau is located, and in Yulin, a city in northern Shaanxi where a number of chemical, oil refining and gas processing enterprises are concentrated.

The director said his bureau also plans to draw up a drill later this year to cope with unexpected environmental incidents and will make more stern measures to punish any local governments or officials who are responsible for any pollution incidents that occur under their administration.

With a rapid economic development, Shaanxi witnessed an increase in pollution incidents in 2005, which threatened the health of local people and the environment, according to Hao Yanwei, director of Shaanxi Provincial Environmental Supervision Bureau.

And since November, 12 environmental pollution incidents have occurred across the province and some seriously threatened the water supply safety, Hao said.

On February 14, the provincial environmental protection bureau ordered a chemical company located in Yulin to stop its operation, because its emissions polluted Wuding River, a water resource for Mizhi and Suide counties in Yulin.

The following day a tanker carrying hydrochloric acid leaked pollutants on to farmland and a river next to the road in Shangluo in southern Shaanxi.

It notified the local government to the possible hazards involved in road transportation, said Wang Xinrong, deputy director of the province environmental protection bureau.

Among the 51 drinking water resource protection zones in Shaanxi, 21 are located near roads and railways.

The provincial environmental protection bureau requires local governments to make effective measures to protect drinking water resources, Wang said.

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