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August 19, 2009

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Tap-water laws to target river industries

SHANGHAI lawmakers are cracking down on any nearby activity that negatively impacts on the quality of tap-water supplies along the Huangpu and Yangtze rivers.

New laws are expected to place an embargo on farming, raising aquatic animals and even shipping.

Lawmakers at the mid-year meeting of the Shanghai People's Congress are discussing the draft of the city's new tap-water resource-protection rules that will also ban factories and mills from near the protected areas.

The new laws will replace legislation enacted 24 years ago.

The present laws only have protection measures on tap-water collection spots on the Huangpu River.

They have proved inefficient for the present day as the population of the city has exploded, new industries abound, vehicles numbers have multiplied and when all these factors are combined, pollution is inevitable.

Lawmakers suggested that the city's four tap-water supply reservoirs be listed under the first-level protection category in the new regulations.

This would authorize the government to close all offending facilities within range of reservoirs, including shipping.

The first-level protection water zones include Chenhang Reservoir, the under-construction Qingcaoshao project, the planned Chongming County Dongfeng project and a range of tap-water collection sources on the upper reaches of the Huangpu River.

Waters near these reservoirs as well as dozens of the city's minor tap-water sources will also have stringent restrictions on the use of chemical fertilizers and shipping.

The lawmakers are still discussing how to set up a fund for relocation compensation for those affected by the future legislation, including farmers, business owners and families operating or living in the targeted zones.


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