China Environmental News Digest

Daily updated Environmental news related to China

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Pollution accidents hit much of country

    BEIJING, May 16 Via ShanghaiDaily -- Forty-nine environment pollution accidents occurred in China during the first half of this year, affecting 22 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities, China's top environment supervisor said yesterday.

    "The number of the environment pollution incidents caused by accidents increased rapidly," the State Environmental Protection Administration said in a statement published on its Website, though it didn't give any comparisons.

    The 49 pollution events included 15 air pollution and 32 water contamination incidents, and two incidents that caused both air and water pollutions. The causes include work safety accidents, illegal waste discharge, and traffic accidents.

    On the night of April 10, a storm lashed Bayannur City in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. To protect the Yellow River levee, local government ordered release of 1,050 tons of paper making water and household waste, that contained a higher level of contaminants than national standards allow, the statement said.

    The discharge flooded 67 hectares of farmland, affecting 57 families.

    After investigation, the state administration found two local paper makers had been routinely releasing seriously polluted waste for a long period, which was the direct cause for the pollution.

    In addition, local government actions affecting a waste pool also contributed to the pollution, the administration said.

    The administration has ordered the waste pool rebuilt, especially to block waste discharge into the Yellow River levee. The two paper makers will not resume operation until they can pass the inspection by the autonomous region environment authority.

    The statement also said the administration has sent two inspection teams to Anhui and Henan provinces to investigate pollution in the Huaihe River.

    The spot-check found that 36 of the 50 inspected companies failed to meet the waste discharge criteria.

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