| Globaltimes.cn | 2012-7-3 17:39:00
| Latest News|
Officials promised shutdown of controversial plant amid ongoing protests
Local officials in Shifang, Sichuan Province, promised Tuesday that a heavy metal refinery project which has stirred mass protests would never be started while urging residents not to believe or spread related rumors.
Li Jincheng, Secretary of the Shifang City Committee of the Communist Party of China, told reporters that the project was halted in response to public concern over environmental and health issues, asking the residents to remain rational and "have faith in the Party committee and government to properly address the matter."
The controversial plant has been a key project aimed at boosting employment and improving people’s livelihoods following the deadly earthquake in 2008, explained Li, admitting that lack of proper publicity has resulted in public distrust and misunderstandings, according to the official Sina Weibo account of the Shifang government.
An official surnamed Guo with local environmental protection bureau told the Global Times that the project was approved by the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MOEP) and the proper procedures were followed and environmental assessments were approved.
The refinery project, with a total investment of 6.7 billion yuan ($1 billion) was expected to refine 40,000 tons of molybdenum and 400,000 tons of copper each year, according to the ministry’s website.
Project halted after protest
Thousands of people have taken to the streets to protest over the construction of a heavy metal refinery in Shifang, Sichuan Province for environmental and health concerns, prompting authorities to halt the project and solicit public opinions, officials told the Global Times.
| Incident Details|
| View Points|
| Similar Incident|
|Project: PX project, a controversial chemical plant|
Place: Xiamen, East China's Fujian Province
Time: June to December, 2007
Incident: The Xiamen authorities put a paraxylene (PX) plant project, earmarked for Haicang District 16 kilometers from the city center, on hold on May 30, 2007. The decision came after huge pressure from citizens opposed to the project who said it was polluting and potentially dangerous.
After collecting public opinions and hold two hearings, the government finally decided to move the plant to a remote place in Zhangzhou, another city in Fujian.
|Comments to PX incident:|
●Common Chinese have more say in policy-making
●Making room for public participation
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