Paper mill pipeline project is suspended

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Shanghai Daily, July 28, 2012
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The Qidong city government announced yesterday that construction of a Japanese paper mill's pipeline to the sea near Shanghai had been suspended amid an outcry over potential pollution.

Qidong residents had petitioned against the construction on the grounds that it would pollute the nearby Lusi Fishery, and plans for a protest had prompted the response from the city government, the website of the People's Daily reported.

There were also online claims that sewage from the paper mill in Jiangsu Province could pollute Shanghai's Qingcaosha Reservoir at the mouth of the Yangtze River.

Zhang Jianxin, Qidong's vice mayor, announced that the project had been suspended for further evaluation.

"The government noticed our citizens have paid high attention to the project that reflected your good wishes to the development and environment of the homeland," Zhang said when reading "a letter to citizens" in a video posted on the city government's website.

The People's Daily's website confirmed that the project that Zhang was referring to concerned Japan's Oji Paper Co Ltd's paper mill.

Zhang asked Qidong citizens not to "support, participate or watch" any illegal marches or demonstrations. Police would severely punish anyone who disrupted social order, he said.

Meng Mingqun, director of the water supply division of the Shanghai Water Authority, told Shanghai Daily yesterday: "It is hard to determine whether the paper mill would actually pollute the Qingcaosha Reservoir."

Meng said the sewage outfall of the mill was near the north part of the mouth of Yangtze River while Qingcaosha takes in water from the south.

An official with the city's water supply hotline also said the outfall was planned on the lower reaches of the Yangtze while the reservoir was on the upper reaches.

In addition, Chongming Island lies between the outfall and the reservoir.

The Shanghai Water Authority has said a 5-kilometer buffer area around the intake of the reservoir is monitored around the clock to ensure it can be shut in time should any emergency occur. "It is unnecessary for Shanghai residents to be too nervous about this," an official said.

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