Environment watchdog follows up chemical waste TV exposure


(Photo: cppcc.china.com)

Environmental protection authorities in north China's Shanxi Province have sent a team to investigate dumping of chemical waste exposed by a state television program.

CCTV ran a report on Tuesday based on their own investigation into the alleged dumping by the Shanxi Sanwei Group Co., a chemical manufacturer listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.

Shanxi provincial department of environmental protection, along with the government of Linfen City, which administers Hongtong County, has sent a team of investigators to the county to look for possible malpractice, the department said.

According to the CCTV report, the company dumped coal ash and slag into a 30-meter-deep pit the size of two football fields. The pit has no barriers underneath as mandated by environment authorities.

The company is also suspected of illegally discharging waste water into the environment.

In an online statement, the Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE) asked local authorities to use the full force of the law against violators and keep the public fully informed.

As a public company, Sanwei Group will face penalties imposed by both the MEE and the China Securities Regulatory Commission.

Farmers in Zhaocheng township alleged that village officials have allowed the illegal dumping and pollution.

Two village officials are in detention for obstructing reporting. Investigators are questioning company employees.