A total of US$14.4 billion will be spent over five years on a cleanup of Lake Tai, China’s third-largest freshwater lake which is located in Jiangsu province. The plan was confirmed by an official from the local environmental protection bureau, AFP reported. In May, an algae bloom – the product of years of exposure to untreated sewage discharge and industrial pollution – appeared in the lake. The water supply to the nearby city of Wuxi and its 2.3 million inhabitants was contaminated for several days. The cleanup plan will see the introduction of stricter emissions and water treatment standards for the lake and its tributaries. More than 1,000 petrochemical plants in the cities of Wuxi, Suzhou and Changzhou have been closed and a further 1,600 factories are scheduled to be shut down over the next two years. However, foreign experts have noted that in the past plants closed for pollution reasons have often re-opened once public attention subsides.