Greenpeace welcomed today the decision by the Guangdong Environmental Protection Bureau to blacklist 20 polluting companies for failing to meet water discharge standards.
A Greenpeace report last October picked out three of these companies for discharging a diverse range of hazardous chemicals into the Pearl River.
The companies are Qingyuan Top Dragon Co. Ltd, Wing Fung P.C. Board Co. Ltd. and Techwise Qingyuan Circuit Co. Ltd. The latter two are subsidiaries of Hong Kong-based Kingboard Chemical Group.
In 2009, Greenpeace researchers sampled and analysed wastewater discharges from various companies, finding a diverse range of hazardous chemicals, including heavy metals such as beryllium, copper and manganese as well as high levels of organic chemicals. These substances are associated with a long list of health problems such as cancer, endocrine disruption, kidney failure and damage to the nervous system as well being known to harm the environment.
"Industrial discharges are poisoning the Pearl River Delta. We are happy that the Guangdong Environmental Protection Bureau is taking a stance against these irresponsible companies," said Edward Chan, Greenpeace Toxics Campaign Manager.
"These blacklisted companies should disclose their pollution discharge data to the public while committing to reduce and eliminate their discharge of hazardous chemicals."
Greenpeace also urged the Chinese government to start taking immediate action to combat hazardous chemicals-induced water pollution. "China's water pollution regulation still largely focuses on conventional pollutants such as Chemical Oxygen Demand and suspended solids. There are no regulations yet on most hazardous chemicals," said Chan. "As hazardous chemicals have the most long term impact on our health and environment, it is time for China to start monitoring and eliminating hazardous chemical discharges in our waters."
Greenpeace press release:
Gaps in pollution law poisons China's Pearl River
Poisoning the Pearl