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Environmental officials vow to fight pollution

ENVIRONMENTAL protection authorities have promised to do more to improve water and soil conditions in suburban and rural parts of the city, while also fighting pollution caused by agriculture and poultry breeding.

“As part of an environmental protection plan for the next three years, we will put more emphasis on the supervision of the farmland environment and water conditions in suburban areas,” said Bai Guoqiang, director of the Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau’s Comprehensive Planning Division.

Under the plan, more than 2,000 small- and medium-sized farms in Shanghai, most of which raise pigs, will be closed or told to upgrade their facilities, Bai said.

“Poultry breeding can lead to pollution of water and soil, so their location will be better planned, and the discharge of pollutants from larger farms will be better managed,” he said.

The authority also plans to complete the renovation of 300 villages around the city by the end of 2017. Over the next three years, more than 100,000 households will be given access to proper sewage treatment facilities.

People living in villages on the outskirts of China’s big cities have become victims of rapid development.

The village of Qinfen, in the northeast of the Pudong New Area, came to the media’s attention last month after its 6,000 residents complained of a foul smell in the air, creeks tainted with sewage and contaminated groundwater. The village is close to the site of a sewage plant and a landfill site.

Zhang Quan, head of the Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau, said last month that the sewage treatment plant will be upgraded to reduce pollution and get rid of the smell.

An incineration plant will be built to deal with waste instead of burying it underground, while pig farms will be ordered to stop discharging directly into streams.

Shanghai’s environmental protection plan for 2015 to 2017 was launched on February 27. The government will spend 100 billion yuan (US$16.1 billion) in the period on more than 200 projects designed to improve the pollution situation.

More emphasis will also be put on the fight against industrial emissions which, according to a report issued in January, accounted for 29 percent of the city’s air pollution.

“We will speed up the industrial transformation in the Nanda and Wusong areas of Baoshan District, Taopu Town in Putuo and Jinshanwei Town in Jinshan District, which are heavily involved in the steel, concrete, chemical and petrochemical industries,” Bai said.

A total of 15 projects are already at the planning stage, he said.

Shanghai is also considering revising its environmental protection regulations and will make new rules for soil protection.

“Law enforcement will be strengthened and more serious punishments will be handed out to companies that violate them,” Bai said.


 

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