The State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) yesterday issued
an emergency notice asking for checks to be conducted on chemical
plants and other potential sources of pollution along rivers.
The inspections will target on large and medium-sized
enterprises along major rivers and their tributaries, especially
chemical plants in water-source areas or densely populated
The SEPA also asked local environmental protection bureaus to
work out emergency plans and examine chemical plants' waste
The nationwide checks will last until the end of next month and
the SEPA will dispatch supervisory groups to provinces including
Sichuan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Anhui and Liaoning.
The circular came after the toxic benzene spill in Songhua River
caused by a chemical plant explosion in northeast China's Jilin
Province that resulted in water supplies being cut off in
downstream cities and now threatens neighboring Russia.
SEPA director Xie Zhenghua resigned last Friday.
(China Daily, Xinhua News Agency December 9, 2005)