Despite bans, companies go on polluting river

PUBLISHED : Monday, 27 August, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 27 August, 2007, 12:00am

While authorities along the upper reaches of the Han River promise to crack down on pollution, companies openly defy government bans and continue to pump their waste into the sky and water.

Such examples of illicit activities can be found in almost every village and county along the Han River. The Jinyuan Chemical Company in the suburbs of Ankang is just one of them.

The company is located in Wuli township, Hanbin district. The fertiliser plant was first built in the 1970s.

The company was blacklisted by the Shaanxi provincial environmental office in April for discharging oily, black, foul-smelling wastewater into the Yujia River. The Yujia River flows into the Han River 10km away.

The company has been ordered to halt production, according to Huashang Daily. The government directive also urged the company to set up wastewater treatment facilities by the end of May, 'or it would face severe punishment', the report said.

However, three months later, the company was still operating, pumping black smoke from its chimney and dirty effluent into the river.

This was not the first time the company defied the authorities. In January, it ignored an order from local environmental authorities telling it to stop polluting and install waste treatment equipment.

Local villagers said the company had not stopped production for a single day.

Residents complained that the company, the biggest air and water polluter in the area, threatened their livelihood, with local crops blighted. Some villagers even suffered from liver problems.

The company declined to be interviewed.