Smelting Waste Pollutes the Yellow River | CCTV Interviewed Zhou Jinfeng: Repay the Ecological Debts Under the Guidance of Ecological Civilization and Do a Better Job in River Basin Protection
2019/12/15 16:44:00 本站

Editor’s Note: Recently, CCTV news program “Economy 30 Minutes” disclosed the environmental pollution of the original gold smelter in Songxian County, Henan Province. Without any anti-seepage measures, the factory discharged tailings leachate to the Yi River, a tributary of the Yellow River, all year round, which caused the stones, branches, and leaves in the Yellow River basin to change color. The white powder of the surrounding soil is visible to the naked eye, which has seriously affected the production and life of the surrounding residents.


“The Yellow River is the mother river of the Chinese nation and the cradle of ecological civilization; the health of the Yellow River’s ecology is the foundation of the health and development of the Chinese nation.” said Dr. Zhou Jinfeng, the joint director of Xi Jinping Institute of Ecological Civilization of the New Era of Socialism with Chinese characteristics, in an interview with CCTV news program “Economy 30 Minutes”.  Along the Yellow River and its tributaries are water sources for cities and the public along the way. The illegal discharge of pollutants to pollute the water bodies of the Yellow River and its tributaries and pollute the water sources of the Yellow River will directly have a serious, even long-term, serious impact on people’s health.


Zhou Jinfeng stressed that the protection of the Yellow River is the most important thing for the sustainable development of the Chinese nation! He said that we should make up the ecological deficit and do a better job through this “Seminar on Ecological Conservation and High-quality Development in the Yellow River Basin”. In the context of ecological civilization, it is incumbent on us to protect the Yellow River.



Shocking News! Pollution of Yellow River Tributary by Smelter Waste | Local Villager: The Bird will Die after Drinking the Water!


Zhongjin Songyuan Gold Smelter is located in the east of Luhun reservoir on the upper reaches of the Yi River, with a straight-line distance of no more than 3 kilometers. Luhun reservoir is the centralized drinking water area of Luoyang City. According to the relevant regulations of Luoyang City, the land area with a depth of 3,000 meters and an extension of 500 meters on both sides of the river is within the scope of the Luoyang drinking water source protection area.


In addition to the sewage discharged into the river by the tailings pond of the smelter, the waste residue in the tailings pond has always been a “time bomb” for the local people. The white powder also appeared after the liquid flowing out of the waste residue produced by the tailings pond dries up, which is very similar to the white powder around the former underground channel.


What’s more surprising is that when the reporters inquired in the license information inquiry system of Henan Work Safety Supervision and Administration Bureau, they didn’t find any information about both two new and old tailings ponds of Zhongjin Songyuan Gold Smelting Co., Ltd. obtained the license for safe production of hazardous chemicals, but the tailings pond has been in use.


As for the annual illegal production, the reporter consulted the following information: from 2016 to 2018, the enterprise received five environmental protection penalties and one administrative penalty. In March 2016, the tail slag (hazardous waste) produced by the company in production was not stacked as required. In December 2016, the cyanidation tailings flow lost about 100 tons. However, the treatment of this serious illegal act is only an environmental protection punishment of 30,000 CNY, and the destination of the lost cyanidation residue has not been found out.


Seepage pit has no protection and liquid directly pollutes groundwater


In this small mountain, there is more than one such enterprise. Next to the Gold Smelter is Luoyang Rongchuan Recycling Co., Ltd., which is mainly engaged in the recovery, processing, and sales of scrap metals.


Through aerial photos, the reporter found that there was a green seepage pit in the yard of the enterprise, and no anti-seepage protection measures were taken around the seepage pit. Above the seepage pit is a sewage pipe, and not far from the enterprise, the Yi River and the villages it flows through. In other words, the liquid in the seepage pit will infiltrate into the underground water system, causing groundwater pollution.


On the official website of Luoyang City Ecological Environment Bureau, the reporter found the reply to the environmental impact report of the zinc ash comprehensive utilization project of Luoyang Rongchuan Renewable Resources Recovery Co., Ltd. It is required in the reply that the wastewater and condensate produced by the acid mist absorption tower of the enterprise shall be discharged into the sewage pipe network of the park after being mixed at the main outlet, and finally into the Tianhu sewage treatment plant of Songxian industrial cluster for advanced treatment.


However, what the reporter saw at the scene was very different from the reply, in which the local environmental protection department turned a blind eye to the practice of stealing the bell.


Sewage rampant, garbage dumping | Yellow River tributary turns into garbage channel


Along the Yi River, the reporter came to Yanshi, a county-level city under the jurisdiction of Luoyang City. After flowing through Yanshi, the Yi River finally flows into the Yellow River.


In Gaolong Town, under a bridge across the Yi River, construction waste, domestic waste, and garbage generated by landscaping can be seen everywhere. Some large pieces of construction waste are discarded on the riverbank, which may slide into the river at any time.


In the Bangezhai Village of Gaolong Town in Yanshi City, the big pits left by sand quarrying on the riverbank are like numerous huge scars. All kinds of rubbish can be seen everywhere around these big pits.


Local villagers told reporters that there used to be a huge sand quarry in the village, and the vehicles used to transport river sand once bothered the villagers. The deep pit formed by sand mining along the river often surprises the villagers. During the summer and flood season, the villagers are most worried about drowning in the deep pit. At present, although the sand quarry has been closed, the deep pit left has not been backfilled.


At the riverside of Antan village, Guxian Town, Yanshi City, there are large and small holes left by sand mining. Besides the potholes left by sand mining on the riverbank, along the riverside of Antan village, in addition to this colorful household garbage, there are also a large number of abandoned tires, wires, and glass are also randomly discarded in the river.


On the other side of the bridge, the villagers live by the river. The villagers here not only throw all kinds of domestic garbage on the riverbank at will but also rush the toilet drain directly to the river. All kinds of construction waste can be seen everywhere on the levee, which is only more than 30 kilometers away from the entrance of the Yellow River.


From December 2018 to July 2019, the Supreme People’s Procuratorate and the Ministry of Water Resources jointly implemented the special action of “Hand in Hand to Clean up the Four Types of Garbages and Protect the Mother River. During the special action, the two departments worked together to urge the clean-up of 1,707 mu of polluted water area, 1,937 km of polluted and illegally occupied rivers, 808,000 m2 of illegal buildings and 1,387,000 tons of domestic and construction waste.


The degree of regulation of the special action was very strong. However, the reporter found in the investigation that after the special action, the “chronic diseases” still exist in the tributaries of the Yellow River such as the Yi River.


In 2018, in 137 water quality sections of the Yellow River, the proportion of inferior V water reached 12.4%, significantly higher than the national average of 6.7%. All units and departments in charge of the whole river basin along the Yellow River should plan as a whole and manage it carefully so as to make the mother river a beautiful river.

(Photo credit: CBCGDF)

Original Chinese article:

By / Xue Tongtong