China Environmental News Digest

Daily updated Environmental news related to China

Thursday, April 13, 2006

China tightens monitoring of thaw in polluted river

HARBIN, April 12 (Xinhua) -- A senior Chinese official on Wednesday ordered strict monitoring of the polluted Songhua River as the spring thaw approaches.

Hua Jianmin, secretary-general of the State Council, made an inspection tour on April 11 and 12 of Northeast China's Jilin and Heilongjiang provinces, to oversee anti-pollution work on the river.

Hua ordered the relevant regions and departments to step up monitoring and analysis of water quality, increase inspections, and to immediately make public the results through newspapers or the Internet.

"Better monitoring and protection of waterways will ensure safer drinking water supplies," said Hua, also a State Councilor.

He called for tighter controls on the treatment and discharge of waste water from companies along the river, the prevention of used firefighting water and industrial waste from flowing into rivers and lakes.

Safer work practices would help curb river or soil pollution caused by production accidents, as would the formulation of emergency contingency plans, he said.

The plan to prevent and control pollution in the drainage area of the Songhua River, enacted by the State Council last month, was significant to China's social and economic development.

Preventing future contamination was equally important, he said.

Hua visited environmental monitoring centers of the two provinces and Jilin Petrochemical Co., the company that suffered an explosion on Nov. 13 last year, releasing 100 ton of benzene compounds into the Songhua River in the worst river pollution incident since the founding of New China in 1949.

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