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China strengthens pollution check ahead of Oct. 1
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From drinking water to mine tailings, China is reinforcing environmental checks around the capital to prevent potential pollution in the run up to the National Day celebrations on Oct. 1 when a huge gathering will be held in Tian'anmen Square.

According to a circular issued by the Ministry of Environmental Protection Thursday, environmental protection departments in Beijing and neighboring Shanxi and Hebei provinces, Tianjin Municipality and the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region will join hands in a campaign to monitor and deal with environmental issues from Sept. 20 to Oct. 10.

The ministry ordered local governments to arrange workers to supervise drinking water protection areas and launch around-the-clock online monitoring of major pollution sources and manage any illegal emissions as quickly as possible.

The circular also urged mine enterprises to inspect tailing ponds every week to prevent collapse and floods in rainy weather.

Companies whose business involves arsenic, lead, chrome and cadmium will be the focus of the check-up for potential pollution sources, said the circular.

The storage, transportation and disposal of dangerous chemical products and medical wastes will be another key part of the supervision to prevent pollution caused by possible leakage and explosion around the National Day.

In addition, the ministry asked environmental protection organizations at all levels to handle public appeals carefully and address exposed environmental issues with a serious attitude.

(Xinhua News Agency September 11, 2009)

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