The Xiamen government has received 1,557 opinions so far from
local residents since it began seeking ideas from the public last
Friday on the future of a huge chemical project whose construction
it has suspended, China News Service reported today.
Xu Mingyao, secretary general of Xiamen Municipal government,
yesterday told media that many residents had urged the government
to speed up the reassessment of the environmental impact of the
plant and reveal more about the project to the public.
Some veterans who have worked in chemical industry for a long
time support the project and say the environmental problems can be
solved, Xu said.
Other residents want the government to cancel the project
because it will pollute the city's environment, Xu said.
Xu said the government has sent the opinions submitted on the
issue to assessment institutes.
The city, in East China's Fujian Province, announced to halt the
construction on a paraxylene plant last week and said it would
conduct a six-month reassessment of the environmental impact in the
wake of a public outcry over pollution and health issues.
The 10.8-billion-yuan (US$1.35 billion) plant, operated by the
Tenglong Aromatic PX (Xiamen) Co, a company formed by the
Taiwan-funded Xianglu Group, was expected to add 80 billion yuan to
the city's industrial output annually and to be China's largest
producer of paraxylene, a petrochemical that goes into polyester
But local residents compared it to an "atomic bomb" and sent
nearly one million text messages via cell phones to their friends
and family members, urging the government to cancel permission for
Paraxylene is a highly polluting and carcinogenic petrochemical,
which will also increase the chance of fetal abnormality.
(Shanghai Daily June 4, 2007)