Unregulated Water Projects Hurt Region Along Yangtze River
Nearly a thousand small water-power projects have been built along China’s Yangtze river without the required environmental impact studies, a report released on Tuesday has found.
China’s National Audit Office compiled the report (link in Chinese) based on a four-month survey of the ecological and environmental conditions in the area. The region is an economic belt that runs along the river through 11 provincial-level areas, and accounts for more than one-fifth of the country’s total area.
More than 24,000 small dams were built by the end of last year, with some only 100 meters apart. They are so densely concentrated that at least 300 waterways in the area have intermittently dried up, the report said.
Water and air quality in the regions has improved somewhat along the belt, which is one of China’s most affluent areas. Levels of ammonia nitrogen, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides all have fallen.
But pollution levels remain high due to insufficient anti-pollution infrastructure such as sewage plants and modern landfills, and also because of overdevelopment, according to the report.
Furthermore, regional governments have not shown the resolve to fix the problems, the audit office said.
The office also audited public financing for ecological and environmental protection in the area, and found extensive mismanagement. Nearly 1.3 billion yuan ($201 million) marked for tackling water pollution and desertification in eight of the regions has gone unused for at least a year.
About 26 million yuan designated for environmental protection went instead toward government administration expenses and other projects from December 2013 to January 2018, the study found.
The audit office does not have the authority to directly punish those suspected of violations, but can share its findings with other agencies for enforcement.
Nearly 100,000 cases of alleged environmental violations have been uncovered since 2016, and more than 4,000 have been handled by judicial authorities. Over 2,600 people were prosecuted or are under judicial investigation, according to the report.
Contact reporter Li Rongde (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- 1In Depth: China Boots Record Number of Companies From Its Bourses
- 2China Shivers Through Freezing Lunar New Year as Temperature Records Tumble
- 3China Urges Los Angeles Community to be Vigilant After New Year’s Day Mass Shooting
- 4Bolivia Picks CATL-led Consortium to Develop Untapped Lithium Deposits
- 5In Depth: What’s in Store for Yuan Internationalization in 2023?
- 1Power To The People: Pintec Serves A Booming Consumer Class
- 2Largest hotel group in Europe accepts UnionPay
- 3UnionPay mobile QuickPass debuts in Hong Kong
- 4UnionPay International launches premium catering privilege U Dining Collection
- 5UnionPay International’s U Plan has covered over 1600 stores overseas