Friday round-up highlighting the news and commentary of the week:

Why this is a golden age for environmental journalism [China Dialogue]

This week saw the 6th annual China Environmental Press Award go to Chen Jie, an environmental photographer whose report on industrial pollution in the Tengger Desert prompted a reaction from Xi Jinping himself and resulted in the sacking of numerous government officials. 

Beijing drinking water reservoir had lead levels ‘20 times the WHO standard’ for at least three years [South China Morning Post]

A study by Chinese scientists has revealed that levels of lead in the Danjiangkou reservoir were 20 times the maximum safe level set by the World Health Organisation, at more than 200 micrograms per litre, between 2007 and 2010. Today, the Shanghai Environmental Monitoring Center also announced that 65% of Shanghai’s waterways are polluted. 

China has seen 18 Environmental Lawsuits since introduction of new law [Sina] 

(Chinese only)

China’s high courts are surprised to have only received 18 environmental lawsuits since the introduction of a groundbreaking new law in January that allows environmental organisations to sue polluters. Sina suggests that this is due to environmental groups’ limited resources and conflict with public interest.

Beijing to use Zhangjiakou's wind power for heating [ecns]

A pilot plan to use wind power from Zhangjiakou to power heating in Beijing has been announced as another step in the city’s battle with air pollution. The step is part of a larger plan to move onto cleaner sources of energy for heating the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei area. 

...and one more... 

Beijing environmental group protests firefly festival  [QQ news] 

(Chinese only) 

Environmental group, Nature University, issued an open letter protesting a firefly show in Beijing’s Chaoyang Park this week that features over 50,000 fireflies. Representatives of the group, which successfully shut down construction on a firefly theme park this month, are concerned that the show will cause harm to the fireflies’ mating habits as they may respond badly to the change in environment. Chaoyang police were unconvinced however, and the festival is going ahead as planned.