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Database on soil quality launched to boost pollution control

By Hou Liqiang | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2018-12-27 19:27

To improve China's soil quality, the top environmental watchdog launched a big data platform on soil pollution on Wednesday and published a technical guideline on assessing its damage.

Big data can play a major role in pollution control, urban and rural development planning, land development and agricultural production, the Ministry of Ecology and Environment said in a news release.

It was not disclosed which data or geographical regions will be included in the platform, but the ministry said it will make efforts to develop a first-class platform that places "soil environment information on a single map".

The authority said it will tightly control the data quality, and establish a mechanism to update the information and include data analysis.

The guideline on how to assess the damage caused by soil and underground water pollution includes procedures and major technical requirements for investigations, cause and effect analysis, damage restoration and evaluation.

"China faces a grim situation in regard to soil and underground water pollution. There has been an increasing number of pollution cases related to such pollution in recent years," the ministry said.

Compared with other forms of pollution, soil and underground water contamination usually accumulates over an extended period with more complications and result in larger losses. This makes a technical guideline necessary, it added.

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