Guangdong environmental protection officials were reported scrambling to start cleanup measures after heavy rain flushed toxins into the Pearl River system, killing fish and coating the river's surface with a slimy scum that officials traced to discharges from the Maoming Oil Refinery. Calling it the worst environmental disaster to hit the Wuchuan city, one official said the refinery took advantage of the heavy rains to discharge effluent, adding their last dumping occurred only last month. "But [the refinery] is a ministerial-level unit so it's hard to punish them," the South China Morning Post reported him as saying.
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