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September 13, 2013

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Suburb bans approval of chemical projects

A HIGHLY polluted industrial area in suburban Shanghai will halt expansion of new chemical industry projects in an effort to curb pollution caused by the existing plants, officials said yesterday.

Authorities in Wujing Town in Minhang District, one of the city’s oldest industrial zone since 1950s, will stop approving new construction or expansion of chemical and heavy industries, the Minhang District Environmental Protection Bureau said.

“The existing plants, most of them being power plants that supply electricity to east China, have installed or will install denitration facilities and fine- particle collectors to curb the release of PM2.5 and PM10,” an official with the bureau said.

The two fine particles are mainly blamed for the severe pollution in the 40-square-kilometer town, where some 50,000 residents live.

The industrial zone stretches over 12 square kilometers.

“The amount of sulfur and nitrogen dioxides in the town is three times higher than that of the average level of Minhang District, far exceeding the acceptable limits,” the Minhang District Jiu San Society, a democratic party, said after a survey.

The pollutants mainly come from the many power plants in the town.

Some surface water in the town was also polluted, the organization said in its survey.

Wujing opened up to industries around 1958 when the city’s first batch of coal and chemical plants started operation.

The town currently has eight major chemical companies, including the Shanghai Coking & Chemical Corp.

The Wujing Power Plant supplies power to the grid that serves whole of east China, thus making it difficult to relocate it within 10 years.

The pressure is on the district government to strictly regulate the expansion of new power plants, the report said.

The plant plans to finish the denitration on a 1.2 million kilowatt machines by middle of next year when the pollutants can be effectively controlled, an official with the environmental bureau said.

Moreover, the bureau will begin clearing the seven major rivers in the town and strictly monitor the waste water release of 10 chemical companies.

Meanwhile, the district government also announced plans to launch an air and water monitoring system from next week for data collection.



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