Officials toss chemicals in river to mask pollution, waste $6.8 million

By Shan Jie Source:Global Times Published: 2018/11/21 17:58:40

Local employees are throwing chemicals into the Weitan River in order to tackle the pollution in Weifang, East China's Shandong Province. Photo: Courtesy of Ministry of Ecology and Environmental (MEE)

Officials in Weifang city, East China's Shandong Province, have been caught throwing millions of dollars worth of chemicals into a river ahead of a government inspection to mask a pollution problem.

Weifang city and its Binhai Economic and Technologic Development Zone mainly relied on throwing chemicals into the Weitan River in order to tackle the pollution, which basically did not show any effect, the central environmental inspection group found over the weekend, according to a statement sent to the Global Times by the Ministry of Ecology and Environmental (MEE) on Monday.

According to the statement, the chemicals could hide pollutants and improve the water quality over the short term, which allowed the project to pass the approval process in July. Doing this cost 47 million yuan ($6.8 million).

However, in August the river water quality worsened again.

The inspection group indicated that local government did not pay enough attention to pollution management. The group requested further investigation to hold officials who have failed their public duty accountable.

The problem was found by the central environmental inspection group.

The group found the pollution issue of the river during its inspection in 2017, after which the provincial government made a management plan, vowing to eliminate pollution in the river before June 2018.

The inspections are part of China's campaign to fight pollution and environmental degradation, as decades of growth have left the country with smog, polluted water, and contaminated soil, according to a report from the Xinhua News Agency.

Tackling pollution is one of "the three tough battles" that China aims to win within three years.


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