[photopress:zone_taihu_lake.jpg,full,alignright]The Taihu Lake district got into trouble when nearly a year ago there was blue-green algae outbreak in the lake. This disrupted water supply to two million residents in Wuxi, Jiangsu province.
The measures that were taken seem to be working. Many manufacturing enterprises, at the urging of the provincial and city governments, have taken difficult and costly measures to cut down on industrial pollution.
Li Yuanchao, head of the Organization Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the former Party Secretary of Jiangsu province said, ‘Excessive industrial development along the Taihu Lake area has taken a deadly toll on the environment. Strict environmental standards should be enforced to reduce pollution, even if that means a slowdown in growth. It’s the price we have to pay.’
The Jiangsu provincial environmental protection bureau issued what is considered the strictest environmental standard in the nation – DB32 Discharge Standard of Main Water Pollutants for Municipal Wastewater Treatment Plant and Key Industries of Taihu Area – which took effect at the beginning of this year. DB32 leaves little room for compromise: enterprises either comply or get out.
Wuxi has played host to one of the nation’s most advanced and developed modern industrial zones. It enjoys a long history of industrial development, especially in textile and machine manufacturing, while printing, dyeing, plating and chemical industries mushroomed in the 1980s.
Growing environmental problems in recent years, such as the algae outbreak, have sounded a serious warning that the old pattern of growth simply can’t be sustained.
Now matters are changing. Statistics from the municipal economic and trade committee show some 600 small chemical companies were closed down in 2007. Other sectors like metallurgy, printing and dyeing, plating and cement are also facing the heat.
Qin Jueming, chief of staff of the environmental watchdog said, ‘Companies will have to do preliminary treatment if the content of pollutants in the wastewater proves high. If they don’t do it, they will simply be shut down.’
Source: China Daily