Big Shocker: Rampant Environmental Pollution in China

China is hardly a stranger to pollution, and apparently “unexpected environmental accidents” occur there every other day.

According to an article in today’s China Daily:

Statistics from the State Environmental Protection Administrations (SEPA) are incomplete, but show that China witnessed 86 sudden environmental accidents in the first half of the year, causing 16 deaths and leaving 233 [people] either poisoned or injured.

The article doesn’t spell out the details of the accidents, but it does mention that of the 86 accidents, half were industrial and 19 were caused by traffic accidents.

On the bright side, the government is taking action, said to Lu Xinyuan, director of SEPA’s Department of Environmental Protection Enforcement & Inspections.

“We are strengthening law enforcement in the environmental field,” Lu said. “While the number of environmental accidents has increased in the first half of this year, one comforting fact is that we have detected no cover-ups of any major incidents.”

Considering China’s extensive experience in the art of the cover-up (remember SARS, the case of avian flu from 2003 that wasn’t reported until this year, and that chemical spill last year that spewed 100 tons of benzene and nitrobenzene into a river and forced authorities to cut off water supplies to the city of Jilin’s 3.8 million residents for four days?), we’ll take this one with a grain of salt.


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