The State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) and the Ministry of Land and Resources will jointly launch a three-year soil pollution survey, at a cost of 1 billion yuan (US$125 million), it was announced on Tuesday at a national video conference.
The survey will cover the Chinese mainland only, excluding Taiwan, and Hong Kong and Macao Special Administrative Regions.
The survey will focus on achieving the following:
First, to analyze the contents of heavy metals, pesticide residue and organic pollutants in soil, and to study the physical-chemical properties of soil based on utilization and type of soil.
Second, to follow up on the National Soil Environmental Background Investigation completed during the 1986-1990 period, collecting and testing soil samples to compare results, and to analyze soil quality changes, if any, over the last 20 years. Further, to update and expand the national soil sample database.
Third, to classify risk evaluation and soil pollution in key regions including areas close to where heavy pollution enterprises, industrial sites, solid waste disposal sites, oilfields, mining areas, and major vegetable growing bases are located. In addition, to collect samples of soil, agricultural products and groundwater using controlled methods, and to test and analyze them to identify types, scope, degree, distribution and causes of pollution.
Fourth, to launch pilot programs to rehabilitate and treat polluted soil, for research and development, and the import of techniques and technology.
Fifth, to establish a soil environmental quality monitoring and management system and emergency plan. The plan would include soil pollution prevention strategies, policies, legislation, and assessment systems. In addition, to improve the national soil pollution monitoring network and to spearhead soil environmental security education projects.
(China.org.cn by Li Shen, July 19, 2006)