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Pingtan to spent 210m yuan on vessel pollution

( chinadaily.com.cn )

Updated: 2015-05-29

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The Pingtan Comprehensive Pilot Zone in Fujian plans to set aside 210 million yuan ($34 million) to clean up pollution from ships and offshore operation in the next few years, China New Service reported on May 15.

The goal is to make sure waters around the port area are fully covered by the oil cleanup service, with a capability of handling up to 1,000 tons of spilled oil, according to a notice jointly issued by the Fuzhou Maritime Affairs Bureau and the Pingtan Social and Economic Development Bureau.

If a polluting accident occurs around the port area, the emergency response team should arrive at the site within one hour and start cleanup work within three hours, the notice said.

As for pollution accidents outside the port area, staffers must rush to the site within 4 hours and carry out cleanup work within 6 hours.

Pingtan sits along a vital shipping lane in Fujian and normally sees lots of ships pass through, some loaded with oil and hazardous chemicals.

As shipping and port conditions improve, there will be an increasing number of larger ships, which impose bigger pollution risks. Statistics show that a total of 62 ship traffic accidents happened in waters near Pingtan from 2007 to 2014, most involving running into reefs and colliding with other ships.

Pingtan has weak foundation of handling ship pollution and oil spills, which must be improved to keep up with the soaring port economy, said Liao Jinqing, deputy director of the Fuzhou Maritime Affairs Bureau.