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Dalian Steps up Efforts to Wipe out Industrial Pollution
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Dalian City in Liaoning Province is sparing no effort to wipe out industrial pollution in its downtown area in a bid to build an environmentally friendly society over the next five years, said a senior local official.


According to a plan drawn up in mid-October by the municipal government, another five plants involving chemicals, cement and steel industries will be moved out of the city to make way for an area of 13 square kilometers for further development, said vice-mayor Song Zengbin.


After the evaluation and recovery work of the evacuated land is completed, new urban residential quarters will emerge along the beach opposite the downtown area across Dalian Bay, the vice-mayor said.


"By 2010 when all the pollution discharging factories are moved, the city's environment will be vastly improved," Song said.


The city began a drastic program called "Clean Sky, Blue Sea and Green Land" in 2000 and 85 factories were either shut down or moved, said Wang Zhongyan, director of Dalian Environmental Protection Bureau.


With 1,200 boilers and 900 chimneys dismantled in the past few years, the central heating systems have covered more than 73 percent of urban living quarters.


Several sewage treatment plants that have been set up guarantee the supply of recycled water and have almost eliminated the pollution of seawater caused by sewage from the city.


In the next five years, 17 new sewage treatment projects will be completed in the city to increase the sewage treatment capacity by 1 million tons per day.


"An accumulated investment of 17.6 billion yuan (US$2.2 billion) has been allocated to environmental protection projects in the past five years," Wang said.


During an environmental protection conference held recently, the municipal government decided to tackle some urgent problems related to the protection of drinkable water sources and living quarters threatened by the main traffic lines in the city.


Protection areas have been set for drinkable water sources and new projects that may pollute the reservoirs are forbidden. Plants such as mines and poultry farms near water sources will be closed.


A protection distance is required for all new living quarters from the city's main traffic lines. A monitoring system has been installed as a warning system of the traffic pollution caused by automobile tail gas and noise.


A centre will be set up for the handling of used electronic products and household appliances.


"We are striving for lasting solutions to the pollution in the city," said the director.


Wang said, to reach the goal, all industrial enterprises will be moved to eco-friendly industrial parks after their environmental impact evaluations by 2010.


(China Daily October 30, 2006)

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