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Yangtze DG shipping safety plan publicised

9 July 2014
The State Council publicised a national blueprint last week to establish a safety support system for shipping dangerous goods (DG) on the Yangtze River, according to China Water Transport News. This follows an explosion in the compound of a Yangtze Petrochemical plant in Nanjing on 9 June and a number of accidents in the Yangtze, including the spilling of a dozen DG containers into the water in the summer of 2009.

The blueprint, jointly put together by 10 government departments, sets out the priority areas that the central and local governments need to address. The first priority, according to the plan, is to consolidate chemical industry parks along the Yangtze. Nearly 50 per cent of China’s chemical industry is located along the river, but no co-ordinated efforts have been made to assess the impact on the natural habitat of the Yangtze and the capability of the river to ship dangerous cargo, according to Wang Mingzhi, deputy director of the Water Transport Department under the Ministry of Transport. Mr Wang said that inspections will be carried out on all production and storage facilities in the chemical parks to eliminate potential hazards.

The blueprint also sets out ways to establish a system to assess the suitability for shipping of all types of dangerous cargo. According to Mr Wang, an official list of banned substances will be updated and publicised in the near future. Other priorities include completing a real-time tracking programme, setting up an emergency response system and modernising the DG shipping fleet.

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