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Yancheng City to close chemical plants after tap water contamination

Chemical plants near a water source in east China's Yancheng City will be dismantled after a water contamination accident on Feb. 20, the city mayor promised here today.

At least 200,000 residents in the city in Jiangsu Province were deprived of tap water supply for three days after a chemical factory illegally dumped the disinfectant phenol -- which is used in the production of resins, plastics and pharmaceuticals -- into the water source of Xinyanggang River.

"Chemical plants are mandated to be dismantled in March," said mayor Li Qiang at a press conference today.

Based on the city's decision, 33 of the city's 317 chemical plants will be included in the government's order.

"Some of the plants will be compensated for relocation, and others, whose production lines are outdated, will be closed down," said vice mayor Gu Jiadong. He did not specify the compensation details.

In addition to the clampdown on polluters, mayor Li Qiang also promised to expand the city's tap water supply capacity by 100,000tons a year and improve water supply facilities.

Police have detained the legal representative and the manager of the responsible chemical plant, the Biaoxin Chemical Co.

The city's water plant said it will offer free tap water for up to a month to compensate customers for the disruption of water supply.


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