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Bulletin on Environmental Accident Responses

Yesterday, the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) released an update on four environmental accidents that took place last week.


Xinhua News Agency today contrasted the quick reactions to them with the delayed response to the Songhua River contamination that led to last Friday's resignation of SEPA chief Xie Zhenhua.


"Under the direction of the SEPA, environmental protection agencies in relevant areas immediately activated emergency response plans and took effective measures to address the accidents," the SEPA bulletin said.


It called on its local offices to prioritize environmental safety and conscientiously prepare for environmental emergencies to ensure public safety.


According to the administration, 500 liters of electroplating solution flowed into the drains of Xiaolan Township, Zhongshan City of south China's Guangdong Province on November 28, polluting a river in the town.


As the solution contained 12 kilograms of cyanide, the local environmental protection agency blocked the river and poured chemicals into the water to reduce the pollution.


"So far, no humans or animals have been reported poisoned," said the bulletin.


On Thursday, an explosion set 6.6 tons of acrylonitrile on fire at Jiangdu Chemical Plant in east China's Jiangsu Province.


Local environmental protection agencies immediately organized monitoring of the surrounding environment and blocked the river to contain the possible spread of pollutants. It also asked nearby residents to take protection measures.


The same day, a laboratory at Tianjiu Chemical Plant in Shenyang, northeast China's Liaoning Province, reported a benzene leak after the explosion of an LNG tank.


Local environmental protection staff rushed to the site and conducted monitoring work, which found the accident had not polluted the environment outside the plant.


On December 2, a tanker was caught in a traffic accident in Jiangsu's Huai'an City and emptied nine tons of formaldehyde into ditches on both sides of the road.


Local firefighters and environmental protection staff used detergents to neutralize and dilute the pollutants and prevent the contamination of a nearby river.


(Xinhua News Agency December 6, 2005)

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