Chengdu joins neighbors to protect environment
Updated: 2014-06-18 13:24
Cities work on pollution controls, other initiatives
Eight cities in Sichuan province will act in concert to improve the environment, according to a plan recently released by the local governments.
They include the provincial capital Chengdu and the cities Deyang, Mianyang, Suining, Leshan, Ya'an, Meishan and Ziyang that surround it.
The region has been named the Chengdu Plain Economic Zone and is home to 40 percent of the population of Sichuan. It is the most developed region in the province and has the best natural resources.
The new plan is designed to promote joint efforts among the cities in a broad range of issues including environmental protection, economic development, infrastructure construction and public services.
It is the latest milestone in long-established cooperation among the cities and is expected to deepen their collaborative relations, said officials.
According to the new plan, the cities will jointly implement projects in forestation, sewage treatment and air pollution control with the target of building a "green shelter" in the upper reaches of the Yangtze River.
They will also start regional disposal centers to collect and process medical and other hazardous wastes.
The governments also plan to establish a system to facilitate information sharing and joint law enforcement on environmental regulations.
Cross-regional water resource protection has long been an important item on the agenda of cities on the Chengdu plain.
Last year, the Mapengyan Canal in Deyang was designated a secondary source of drinking water for the Qingbaijiang district in Chengdu.
"It is not a simple move, but requires big compromise and sacrifice by the city of Deyang," said an official at the Chengdu City Environmental Protection Bureau.
He said companies that discharge sewage into the canal have to be shut down or removed to enable the water to meet drinking standards. As well, environmental appraisals for new companies are stricter.
Deyang is located upstream of Chengdu along the Tuojiang River. Last year, the city government completed 70 pollution-control projects to make sure water quality meets drinking standards.
The government of Chengdu also undertook a wide range of efforts to regulate and remove polluters in its jurisdiction along the Tuojiang River. The 95 pollution-control projects started last year are continuing along with 39 projects added this year.
Mingshan county in Ya'an is located upstream on the Baizhang River, which flows to Pujiang county in Chengdu. A communication link was established between county governments to enhance the supervision of companies along the river. When a polluter is found they "quickly respond and solve the problem", said officials
The environmental bureau in Meishan downstream of Chengdu on the Fuhe River is working to share information and jointly protect the water supply.
Controlling and preventing air pollution is another important task that requires collaboration among cities, said local officials.
Officials have been cooperating since last year in efforts to control PM2.5 emissions caused by crop stalk burning, coal burning, industries and automobile exhaust.