China’s SEPA to assess Xiamen environment

07 June 2007 06:40  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--China’s environment watchdog said on Thursday it will carry out a study on Xiamen city to assess suitability for heavy chemical projects such as paraxylene (PX).

The local government will have to reconsider these projects if the city cannot cope with environmental demands, Pan Yue, deputy minister at the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA), said in a statement.

Such assessments will be a way to curb environmental risks in rapidly developing industries and cities, he added.

In Xiamen, Fujian province, the public protested against Dragon Group’s PX project which was already under construction in the Haicang district. The local government bowed to public pressure and suspended the project for at least six months pending a reassessment on its environmental impact.

The conflict arose as the environmental study did not take into account the city’s development, Pan said, adding that the local government even planned to create a residential estate in Haicang which already housed several petrochemical plants.

Most of China’s environmental problems are caused by poor planning which do not take into account the overall impact on the environment, Pan said.

“As cities and industrial estates developed rapidly, there is less emphasis at the overall planning level to consider the impact on resources and the environment,” he said in Mandarin.

By: Florence Tan
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