China's environmental watchdog removed three cities and two
industrial zones from its blacklist only a week after taking out
five other areas.
It leaves only one county and two industrial zones on the list:
Hejin county in north China's coal base of Shanxi, Lanzhou High-Tech Industrial
Development Zone in Gansu and Puyuan Economic Development Zone in
The State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) said in
a press release on Sunday that the local governments of the five
areas recently scratched from the blacklist have "placed great
importance and worked out solutions to correct the long-lingering
The five included Baiyin city in northwest China's Gansu
Province, Chaohu and Bengbu cities in east China's Anhui Province, Handan Economic Development
Zone in north China's Hebei Province and Shenxian Industrial Park in
east China's Shandong Province.
According to the SEPA investigation, the water quality in a
heavily-polluted main river channel in Baiyin city has considerably
improved and the municipal government has stopped a local factory
from billowing out chemical fog into the air.
Bengbu city has closed small chemical workshops along its two
main river channels and provided clean drinking water to local
residents, the SEPA said.
In Chaohu city, Wanwei Group, a major polluter of a local water
resource, has been suspended from operation and forced to rectify
its waste system after paying a default waste fare of 11.74 million
yuan (US$1.56 million) and fine of 500,000 yuan (US$66,000).
SEPA will keep an eye on these five areas to make sure they
continue to do things right, the statement said.
The administration put local authorities in six cities, two
counties and five industrial zones - all in the vicinity of the
Yellow River, the Yangtze River, the Huaihe River and the Haihe
River - on a blacklist in early July after a nationwide monitoring
network found that water running through these cities and counties
was "heavily polluted".
They were told to immediately suspend construction projects that
have not undergone environmental assessments and were only given
three months to fix their "environmental problems".
SEPA also refused to assess the environmental impact for all
projects from these areas except those relevant to waste processing
and recycling, which meant that the paper work of all these
projects had to be suspended.
"It proved that such campaign was effective to push local
governments into action," said the statement.
On September 24, the SEPA dropped the first batch of areas from
But Pan Yue, SEPA vice director, said the campaign was just a
special administrative measure to curb pollution, and it is far
from enough just to close some projects.
A comprehensive environmental protection system including
environmental assessment and economic policies should be
established to limit the development of industries with high energy
consumption and high pollution, he said.
(Xinhua News Agency October 3, 2007)