Looks as though China is an environmental disaster zone, and something needs to be done for it to beef up its environmental management. Hundreds of barrels of toxic waste have been lost by China, and are making their way to Russia. At the same time there was a massive explosion at a plastics factory killing 10 people and injuring at least 300. Does not help that the Chinese authorities are preventing news agencies to cover some of their environmental disaster events, including a recent oil spill in Dalian, Northeast China. Government policy is probably what you don't see or hear, won't hurt you.
Source: Time Online
|On the same day, thousands of barrels containing toxic industrial chemicals were spotted in the Songhua River in northeast China. Floodwaters had swept the containers from a nearby storage depot and into a tributary of the river, Jilin province environmental authorities reported. Some 7,000 barrels are estimated to have been lost in the river, including 3,000 that contained chemicals used in making synthetic rubber, among other applications. China's Ministry of Environmental Protection said Thursday that "no abnormalities" had been detected in a test of the river's waters.
Those disasters were preceded by a July 16 oil spill at the port city of Dalian in northeast China. Some 1,500 tons of crude spilled into the Yellow Sea when two pipelines belonging to the state-owned China National Petroleum Corp. exploded at the Xingang oil terminal. The disaster happened after an oil tanker was unloaded, when desulfurizing chemicals were improperly pumped into the pipeline. Since then, hundreds of fishing vessels have been used to aid the cleaning efforts of oil skimmers. Environmental groups criticized the improvised cleanup, saying untrained laborers were exposed to toxic chemicals. "They don't have experience, they don't have protective gear, not even basic gear," says Sze Pang Cheung, campaign director of Greenpeace China. "It's a big health concern." And while the government declared on July 26 that the spill had been cleaned, Sze said that Greenpeace observers in Dalian have noted that there are some areas, including an island that is a sensitive seabird habitat, still tainted by oil.
Source: Time Online
|The waters of a polluted Chinese tributary of Russia's Amur River will reach the Russian border on August 4, Russian emergencies officials said on Thursday.
Severe floods washed 3,000 barrels of explosive chemicals into the Songhua River in the Northeast Chinese province of Jilin early on Wednesday, according to Xinhua news agency. The river is the main source of drinking water for Jilin, the province's second-largest city.
Earlier on Thursday it was reported that 1,000 barrels containing methyl chloride, an extremely flammable gas, had washed into the river. An additional 4,000 empty barrels have also been washed downstream.
Russia fears the chemicals may contaminate the Amur River, which feeds water to the Russian Far Eastern city of Khabarovsk.
|In November 2005, an explosion at a plant owned by the Jilin Petroleum and Chemical Company caused 100 tons of potentially lethal benzene to spill into the Songhua River. The incident forced the shut-down of water supplies to nearly 4 million people. The spillage caused substantial environmental damage in the Russian Far East, as a huge slick of chemicals was carried down the Amur.|