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Sino-US Waste Management Program Launched
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A Sino-US program was launched in Beijing Monday for enhanced cooperation on the prevention, management and treatment of hazardous and solid wastes in China, in a bid to reduce their impact on human health and ecosystems.


The joint initiative, dubbed the "Strategy for Hazardous and Solid Waste Cooperation", was adopted during a meeting between Zhou Shengxian, head of China's State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA), and his US counterpart Stephen Johnson.


Under the strategy, the two countries will intensify transfers of technical information, temporary personnel exchanges, and joint projects to demonstrate environmental management approaches and technologies.


The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and SEPA would work together to establish and strengthen environmental regulations for the management of hazardous and solid wastes in China, including medical waste, lead-acid batteries, electronic waste, tires, and sludge generated by industrial and domestic waste water treatment, the strategy said.


The SEPA and EPA also intend to cooperate on the implementation of a national polychlorobiphenyl (PCB) treatment plan in two provinces at 61 identified PCB burial sites by December.


They want to develop regulatory treatment programs and establish a clean-up fund by 2008, according to the strategy.


Fighting the bird flu outbreak is included in the program, as both sides are willing to assist each other in preparing responses to the disease.


They will share strategies and technical information on such issues as sampling and disposal of contaminated animal carcasses, the strategy says.


The program is part of the initiative of a Memorandum of Understanding signed by representatives of environmental departments of China and the United States in 2004.


(Xinhua News Agency April 11, 2006)

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