First big step taken to battle pollutants
By Yuan Wu (China Daily)
Updated: 2006-01-07 07:05
China will take its first big step to combat persistent organic pollutants
(POPs) on the mainland, with Zhejiang Province in the east a chief beneficiary
of the project.
A PCB (polychlorinated biphenyl) Management and Disposal Demonstration
Project will be carried on in Zhejiang and Northeast China's Liaoning Province
in the next four years, the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA)
said on Friday in Beijing.
As the first exemplary project for China to fulfil its commitment to the
Stockholm Convention of reducing and preventing POPs, the project will cost more
than US$32 million, among which the Global Environmental Facility will
contribute US$18 million and the rest will come from Chinese local governments
and other countries, such as Italy, according to Zhuang Guotai, vice-director of
the Office for Stockholm POPs Convention Implementation under SEPA.
SEPA plans to eliminate PCBs by 2025.
PCBs had been used in the production of large-scaled capacitors for power
plants and paint making in 1960s and '70s. Although currently most of capacitors
containing PCBs have been abandoned and buried, there are still about 20,000
such toxic capacitors at work. It is estimated that China has six to eight tons
of serious PCBs and 60-80 tons of light PCBs on the mainland, posing great
threat on human being's health and the environment.
"We plan to clear the PCBs in 56 storage places in Zhejiang Province," Zhuang
"Compared with the achievements in controlling and preventing pollution in
soil and water, the country's work in the regards to toxic chemicals is
relatively backward," said Zhang Lijun, vice-minister of SEPA. "China will
strengthen its efforts in this aspect."
However, the country is facing many difficulties in controlling and
preventing POPs, Zhuang said.
It is urgent that China make clear the distribution of different kinds of
POPs, such as PCBs, a report by the Environmental Science School of Beijing
Normal University said. And the country's enforcement capability, technology,
on-line management and financing all need to be improved.
China signed the Stockholm Convention on POPs in 2001. It actually has been
in effect in China for just one year.
(China Daily 01/07/2006 page2)