Govt steps up effort to curb water pollution
Process will be time-consuming and expensive: experts The contaminated pits recently found in North China are symptomatic of a larger problem, but the central government is stepping up efforts to curb water pollution across the country although the process is hard and time-consuming, experts said Monday.
China’s environmental authorities moved faster this time than before, with an immediate investigation, quickly arranged treatment plan and timely updates about the situation, according to Li.
The Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) launched a probe with the Hebei provincial government on the pits on Wednesday morning and confirmed that they were polluted by the afternoon.
The two pits were caused by digging years ago and were polluted in 2013 by illegal pouring of sulfuric acid, said the ministry, citing Dacheng government.
It would cost around 200 million yuan ($29 million) to treat the pollution from the 170,000-square-meter pit in Hebei, The Beijing News report said, citing industrial experts.
Water pollution treatment is difficult because the process involves many economic interests, said Bai Ou, a Beijing-based industrial expert.
China’s environmental laws are not comprehensive at the moment, and the central government is expected to put forward more effective rules, according to Bai.
More efforts "It is quite urgent to treat water pollution, but the process is difficult and will take many decades, based on similar experience in other countries like Japan," said Li.
With the development of the Jingjinji area (Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region), sewerage treatment is not merely the responsibility of Hebei Province or Tianjin Municipality, and it involves more joint efforts to cover wider areas, Bai said, adding that this effort would have to apply not only in North China, but the whole country.
North China suffers from many forms of pollution, affecting water, soil and air quality due to the large volume of heavily polluting industries in the region, including mining, steel and coal, experts said, noting that the central and local governments are expected to increase efforts to curb the pollution.