Songjiang residents oppose battery factory

By Jiang Qian Source:Global Times Published: 2013-4-21 23:33:01

A caravan of more than 40 cars bearing green ribbons drove around Songjiang district for more than two hours Sunday afternoon to protest the construction of a battery factory in the district, participants said Sunday.

Despite a government evaluation that said the lithium ion battery production base would barely cause any pollution, residents retained their doubts. "We don't believe the project won't cause any pollution," said a protestor surnamed An. "The heavy metal pollution caused by the battery factories in Pudong in 2011 scared me, so we reached agreement over the Internet to oppose its construction."

Hefei Guoxuan High-tech Power Energy Co Ltd will build the lithium ion battery factory on a 23.1-acre plot in the Songjiang Industrial Park in Xiaokunshan town, according to a press release the industrial park issued in August.

The park billed the project as the largest lithium ion battery production base in eastern China.

"The company is leveling the ground and construction will begin soon," said a resident from a nearby residential community. "But we are worried the water we drink and the air we breathe won't be clean anymore."

The Shanghai Research Institute of Chemical Industry's environmental evaluation found 34 residential communities, a kindergarten and three rivers within three kilometers of the factory site, according to a statement issued in November on Shanghai Environment Online, a website run by the State Environmental Protection Administration and the Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau. The evaluation found the project would cause very little pollution to the air and water.

The institute also distributed 150 questionnaires to gather public comment.

It found 68 percent of those surveyed supported the project, the Songjiang News reported Friday.

An said the purpose of Sunday's protest was for residents to express their views and ask the government for help.

About 10,000 residents have signed a petition against the construction of the factory, according to another resident who requested anonymity.

"We are waiting for the government's reply," An said. "If we don't receive a response by the end of April, we will continue to take actions to protect our rights - in a reasonable way, of course."

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Posted in: Society, Metro Shanghai

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