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News

Environmental accidents on the rise

8 February 2012
The number of environmental accidents in China has increased significantly, reported China Daily, in line with the rapid growth of the chemical industry.

Ministry of Environmental Protection data showed that 542 environmental accidents were handled across the country last year. The report gave no comparative historical figures, but the number is considerably higher than the 171 such accidents recorded in 2009 and 156 in 2010, which have been posted on the website of the ministry-affiliated newspaper China Environment News.

Nearly 60 per cent of incidents in 2011 were triggered by traffic accidents or safety accidents during the production process, according to Ling Jiang, deputy director of the department of pollution prevention and control under the Ministry of Environmental Protection.

However, Mr Ling said that the number of accidents caused by illegal discharge of waste and other pollutants is relatively small due to government authorities having launched strict monitoring measures.

The article went on to highlight continued concern about high levels of water pollution. “Only about 46 per cent of the 178,000km of key rivers and lakes monitored by the ministry are up to standard on quality,” said Chen Mingzhong, an official in the Ministry of Water Resources.

Nearly 80 per cent of the key rivers and reservoirs with specific usage functions are targeted to reach the standard by 2020, and all should meet the standard by 2030, according to the plan.

     
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