The Financial Times reported that China has released an ambitious plan to make 90% of its polluted agricultural land “safely usable” within four years. A survey published in 2014 estimated that 20% of China’s arable land was contaminated by decades of unregulated metal smelting, mining and fertilizer manufacturing. The clean-up bill could reach $1tn, by some estimates. While Beijing has promised to tackle soil pollution for some time, it originally planned to do so after addressing the more visible problems of air and water pollution. However, experts have realized that contamination leeching into the soil from abandoned industrial sites will continue to undermine water quality unless tackled at the same time.
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