Business / Economy

Environmental authorities probe C China pollution

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-12-08 09:34

Environmental authorities probe C China pollution

A normal orange, upper middle, and some contaminated oranges planted at aluminum-polluted land in Taoyuan county, Changde city of Hunan province. Chuangyuan Aluminum Co Ltd, a local firm, allegedly caused the contamination. [Photo/IC]

CHANGSHA - Authorities at the central and local levels began investigating a pollution case in which an aluminum manufacturer is believed to have caused environmental damage in Central China.

Environmental officials will probe into the contamination scandal in which Chuangyuan Aluminum Co Ltd was accused of discharging untreated waste, allegedly imposing health threats and causing crops to wither in Taoyuan county, Hunan province, the local government said on Sunday.

The case was exposed via social media by the Beijing News on Saturday, in which the newspaper suggested more than ten people have developed cancer due to the fluoride from company's aluminum processing projects.

Pictures posted online show red-colored water seeping through solid waste. The polluted water then flows into the Yuanjiang River, a local waterway. Oranges grown in surrounding areas were also affected, with some fruits appearing in strangely green colors.

A statement of Taoyuan county government said Sunday that data obtained by provincial and city-level environmental monitoring agencies showed the enterprise had met emission requirements in discharging waste gas and water, but "has problems in disposing solid waste."

The enterprise failed to follow environmental requirements in the construction of a landfill to dispose electrolytic aluminum, said the statement.

The county government said it will ramp up supervision for Chuangyuan and help residents in the area to relocate as soon as possible.

Local villagers who used the contaminated water for irrigation told the newspaper that "vegetables cannot grow and rice production has seen significant decrease."

"More than ten people have died of cancer, and many villagers in the lower reaches of the river suffer from unknown pains," a villager was quoted as saying.

Chuangyuan was established in Taoyuan in October 2001. The company's first production line was launched in April 2003.

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