XI'AN: A chemical company in Lanzhou, capital of Gansu Province in Northwest
China, dumped concentrated chemical compounds into the Yellow River on Friday,
but officials from the local environmental protection bureau said the situation
was under control.
The company responsible, Lanzhou Xinxibu Vinylon Company Ltd, is considered
one of the most-polluting companies in the country.
"Lanzhou Xinxibu Vinylon, a chemical company, dumped calcium hydroxide and
calcium carbonate into the river on Friday. The materials had a minimal impact
on the water quality of the Yellow River," Lu Zhaowen, director of the Pollution
Control Department of the Lanzhou Environment Protection Bureau, told China
Lu said his bureau had received a report on Friday morning that white
material had polluted a 30-kilometre stretch of the Yellow River, which
traverses Lanzhou. The bureau dispatched officials and technicians to
The officials found that the chemical firm had illegally dumped chemical
waste into the river. They fined the company and ordered it to stop polluting,
the director said.
Tests by the Lanzhou Environment Protection Detection Station showed that the
water quality had returned to normal three days after the spill. Further
investigations are underway to determine whether the spill would harm to lower
reaches of the river.
Lu said the spill had disrupted the water supply to some 2,000 households in
the city's Xigu District for about 5 hours. The water supply in other parts of
the city was normal.
Lanzhou Xinxibu Vinylon, which is located in Lanzhou's Xigu District and sits
about 30 metres from the Yellow River, was previously listed by the State
Environment Protection Administration (SEPA) as one of the 11 most-polluting
companies in the country.
Huang Lihui, the company's general manager, said Lanzhou Xinxibu Vinylon did
not have enough money to ensure pollution control.
"Our company lost some 10 million yuan (US$1.25 million) when it halted
production for nearly month after being criticised by the SEPA early this year,"
Huang was quoted as saying by the West Business News.
Since late October, the river has been polluted four times by production
waste and sewage.
Lu said local authorities would make more of efforts to better protect the
river from pollution.
(China Daily 12/26/2006 page3)