China's newly appointed top environment official on Monday
reviewed the lesson from the recent Songhua River pollution in
northeast China, and said it was a "pain like cutting flesh."
Zhou Shengxian, director of the State Environmental Protection
Administration (SEPA), made the remark while inspecting wastewater
drainage by enterprises along the Songhua River in Jiamusi,
"The pollution of the Songhua River water is a pain like cutting
flesh that shocked the world," Zhou said.
"The Songhua River is the mother river for local residents. We
must protect it and make good use of it," he added.
SEPA reported on Monday that the tail end of the chemical spill
in the Songhua River will soon pass Jiamusi, some 244 km from the
city of Tongjiang downstream, where the river joins the
Heilongjiang River and flows into Russia.
The nitrobenzene density has been falling as the slick flows
downstream due to evaporation and settling, SEPA said.
The chemical spill is the result of an explosion at an upstream
petrochemical plant last month. SEPA has established 30 monitoring
posts along the river.
Zhou urged local businesses to work to develop resources-saving
and environment-friendly methods, saying: "Everyone is obliged to
protect the environment and achieve sustainable development."
"Businesses shouldn't make development and environmental
protection opposite to each other," he stressed.
The newly appointed SEPA director who replaced Xie Zhenhua
earlier this month also called on environmental authorities to
strengthen law enforcement.
"Where does the authority of the environmental protection
department come from? It comes from strict environmental law
enforcement," he said.
(Xinhua News Agency December 13, 2005)