Chinese factory managers detained over toxic river spill, may face criminal charges

ASSOCIATED PRESS, SEPTEMBER 11, 2006
BEIJING The senior managers of two factories in central China blamed for tainting a river with toxic arsenide have been detained and could face criminal charges, state media said.
Last week, high levels of arsenide poison were found in Hunan province’s Xinqiang River, forcing authorities to cut off drinking water for 80,000 people in the area. No one was reported sickened.
Haoyuan Chemical Company, a sulphuric acid manufacturer in Hunan’s Linxiang City, and Taolin Lead-Zinc Ore Chemical Plant, both in the upper reaches of the river, were the major polluters, the official Xinhua News Agency said late Monday, citing an official with the State Environmental Protection Administration.
Pan Yue, SEPA’s deputy director, promised harsh penalties for the enterprises and told Xinhua that the top managers may face criminal punishment. The report did not say how many managers had been detained.
It said the two factories were discharging waste water with arsenide content more than 1,000 times higher than the national standard directly into Xinqiang River.
The incident is the latest in a series of poisonings stemming from carelessness in waste disposal by the country’s growing number of industrial outlets.
Haoyuan Chemical Company discharged nearly 50,000 tons of waste water every month, and Taolin Lead-Zinc Ore Chemical Plant 280 tons, Pan was quoted as saying. The two companies had not passed any environmental assessments and had no pollution treatment facilities, it said.
Arsenide is a compound of arsenic, a colorless, tasteless poison. Chronic exposure to arsenic can lead to dermatitis, lung cancer and in severe cases, death.
BEIJING The senior managers of two factories in central China blamed for tainting a river with toxic arsenide have been detained and could face criminal charges, state media said.
Last week, high levels of arsenide poison were found in Hunan province’s Xinqiang River, forcing authorities to cut off drinking water for 80,000 people in the area. No one was reported sickened.
Haoyuan Chemical Company, a sulphuric acid manufacturer in Hunan’s Linxiang City, and Taolin Lead-Zinc Ore Chemical Plant, both in the upper reaches of the river, were the major polluters, the official Xinhua News Agency said late Monday, citing an official with the State Environmental Protection Administration.
Pan Yue, SEPA’s deputy director, promised harsh penalties for the enterprises and told Xinhua that the top managers may face criminal punishment. The report did not say how many managers had been detained.
It said the two factories were discharging waste water with arsenide content more than 1,000 times higher than the national standard directly into Xinqiang River.
The incident is the latest in a series of poisonings stemming from carelessness in waste disposal by the country’s growing number of industrial outlets.
Haoyuan Chemical Company discharged nearly 50,000 tons of waste water every month, and Taolin Lead-Zinc Ore Chemical Plant 280 tons, Pan was quoted as saying. The two companies had not passed any environmental assessments and had no pollution treatment facilities, it said.
Arsenide is a compound of arsenic, a colorless, tasteless poison. Chronic exposure to arsenic can lead to dermatitis, lung cancer and in severe cases, death.
BEIJING The senior managers of two factories in central China blamed for tainting a river with toxic arsenide have been detained and could face criminal charges, state media said.
Last week, high levels of arsenide poison were found in Hunan province’s Xinqiang River, forcing authorities to cut off drinking water for 80,000 people in the area. No one was reported sickened.
Haoyuan Chemical Company, a sulphuric acid manufacturer in Hunan’s Linxiang City, and Taolin Lead-Zinc Ore Chemical Plant, both in the upper reaches of the river, were the major polluters, the official Xinhua News Agency said late Monday, citing an official with the State Environmental Protection Administration.
Pan Yue, SEPA’s deputy director, promised harsh penalties for the enterprises and told Xinhua that the top managers may face criminal punishment. The report did not say how many managers had been detained.
It said the two factories were discharging waste water with arsenide content more than 1,000 times higher than the national standard directly into Xinqiang River.
The incident is the latest in a series of poisonings stemming from carelessness in waste disposal by the country’s growing number of industrial outlets.
Haoyuan Chemical Company discharged nearly 50,000 tons of waste water every month, and Taolin Lead-Zinc Ore Chemical Plant 280 tons, Pan was quoted as saying. The two companies had not passed any environmental assessments and had no pollution treatment facilities, it said.
Arsenide is a compound of arsenic, a colorless, tasteless poison. Chronic exposure to arsenic can lead to dermatitis, lung cancer and in severe cases, death.
BEIJING The senior managers of two factories in central China blamed for tainting a river with toxic arsenide have been detained and could face criminal charges, state media said.
Last week, high levels of arsenide poison were found in Hunan province’s Xinqiang River, forcing authorities to cut off drinking water for 80,000 people in the area. No one was reported sickened.
Haoyuan Chemical Company, a sulphuric acid manufacturer in Hunan’s Linxiang City, and Taolin Lead-Zinc Ore Chemical Plant, both in the upper reaches of the river, were the major polluters, the official Xinhua News Agency said late Monday, citing an official with the State Environmental Protection Administration.
Pan Yue, SEPA’s deputy director, promised harsh penalties for the enterprises and told Xinhua that the top managers may face criminal punishment. The report did not say how many managers had been detained.
It said the two factories were discharging waste water with arsenide content more than 1,000 times higher than the national standard directly into Xinqiang River.
The incident is the latest in a series of poisonings stemming from carelessness in waste disposal by the country’s growing number of industrial outlets.
Haoyuan Chemical Company discharged nearly 50,000 tons of waste water every month, and Taolin Lead-Zinc Ore Chemical Plant 280 tons, Pan was quoted as saying. The two companies had not passed any environmental assessments and had no pollution treatment facilities, it said.
Arsenide is a compound of arsenic, a colorless, tasteless poison. Chronic exposure to arsenic can lead to dermatitis, lung cancer and in severe cases, death.

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