China Toxic Water Pollution: 110 Tonnes of Fish Killed by Ammonia-Discharging Plant
The extremely high levels of ammonia discharged by a plant in just a span of 40 hours have killed a whopping number of 110 tonnes of fish from a river in China's central Hubei province.
The dead and dying fishes covered the whole stretch of the 40-kilometre (15-mile) long Fu River.
Officials from the Hubei province environmental protection department said the culprit was the local company Hubei Shuanghuan Science and Technology Stock Co, which had dumped extremely high levels of ammonia into the river waters, based on a sampling of its drain outlet.
"The dead fish covered the entire river and looked like snowflakes," Wang Sanqing, the Communist Party secretary of the nearby fishing village of Huanghualao, was quoted by Huffington Post. He said the incident could stall the village's 150 fishing boats, leading to a revenue lose of up to 70,000 yuan ($11,400) per day.
About 1,600 of Huanghualao residents earn their living from fishing, he said.
The Hubei province environmental protection department said it had ordered Hubei Shuanghuan, which manufactures chemicals, including soda ash, ammonium chloride and industrial salt, to fix the pollution problem. Its operations had likewise been suspended pending the cleaning. Trading on the company's shares were likewise halted in Shenzhen, according to Bloomberg.
Ma Jun, director of the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs, said the company has had four environmental violations since 2008. The Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs is a Chinese nongovernmental organisation that tracks air and water pollution.
"Each time it was ordered to be corrected, but this demonstrates that enforcement is way too weak and the cost of violations way too low," Mr Ma told the New York Times.
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