SHANGHAI: A man was sentenced to 18 months in prison Monday for illegally
dumping tons of unprocessed chemical waste.
Xiao Cangwang, 40, dumped 39 tons of electrolytic waste containing poisonous
chemicals like hydrogen chloride, hydrogen fluoride and heptanone three separate
times between March and June this year. He had taken the waste from two
construction sites, one of them for a road.
The waste reportedly emitted a strong odour, and a passer-by who accidentally
came into contact with some of the chemicals experienced a burning sensation on
his skin. It cost the authorities 330,000 yuan (US$41,250) to clean up the two
dump sites, according to the verdict.
By law, people found guilty of causing serious environmental pollution could
face jail sentences of up to seven years. Shanghai's Jiading District People's
Court handed down a lenient sentence because Xiao had admitted to dumping the
On June 8, residents in Xinghuo Village, Jiading District, reported to the
police that someone had left 52 buckets of foul-smelling chemical waste
alongside a road being built near the village. The local environment bureau
dispatched experts to the scene to test the material.
The buckets contained more than 10 tons of waste, much of it in the form of
poisonous chemicals. Clean-up teams carted off much of the topsoil in the
Investigators first traced the waste to Shanghai Funuolin Fine Chemical Co
Ltd in Nanhui District, and then to Xiao Cangwang, who had faked a contract on
behalf of Shanghai Julang Industry and Trade Co Ltd to dispose of the waste. It
soon emerged that Xiao did not actually work for Shanghai Julang.
Police arrested Xiao on June 16 when he showed up at Shanghai Funuolin Fine
Chemical, asking to be paid for dumping the waste. Xiao admitted that he had
faked Shanghai Julang Industry and Trade's business seal and other documents
before signing the contract with Shanghai Funuolin Fine Chemical.
Xiao had also dumped more than 29 tons of unprocessed electrolytic chemical
waste at a construction site in Jianhua Village in Jiading District, receiving
more than 36,000 yuan (US$4,500) from the chemical manufacturer in exchange.
Teams were sent to clean up the waste at the second site.