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Three Gorges Pollution Worrisome: Official
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Industrial pollution in the Three Gorges Reservoir and its upstream areas is worrisome, and China will take four measures to reduce it, said China's environmental authority in Beijing Thursday.  

The State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) issued the mid-term assessment report of the Anti-Water Pollution Plan of the Three Gorges Project Thursday which said the progress of pollution treatment projects in the Three Gorges Project area is "not as smooth as planned."


The Three Gorges Project, which started in December 1994, plans to build the world's biggest dam ever in the upstream of China's Yangtze River. Hailed by most people for its potential capability to generate electricity, it is questioned by some environmentalists about possible pollution to the reservoir and upstream areas.


An anti-water pollution plan of the Three Gorges Project released by China's State Council demands that industrial pollution in the reservoir should be reduced 30 percent by 2005 and nearby areas affected be shrunk by 20 percent.


However, statistics of the mid-term assessment show that 35 percent of major treatment programs have not been started. Besides, over two thirds of medium and big polluters due to shut down are still running, and 93.8 percent of polluters required to clean their production have not achieved the zero emission or emission recycling.


According to SEPA, the four measures to clean the area include: starting the other 65 percent of the treatment projects by the end of August 2005, universalizing the emission licensing system and installing online monitoring equipment for suspected heavy polluters, shutting down more small polluters in industries like paper-making, brewing, food-making and chemistry in the area, and updating technologies of those big polluters.


(Xinhua News Agency April 1, 2004)

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