Monday, August 28, 2006

1/3 of China hurt by acid rain

A new report reveals that acid rain is affecting one third of China's landmass thanks to the rapid industrial growth in the country. From China Daily:
One third of China's land mass was affected by acid rain last year, Sheng Huaren, vice-chairman of the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee, said in a report to top legislators on Saturday.

Sheng told NPC Standing Committee members that in some regions of the country all rainfall was acidic.

His report was based on lawmakers' inspection of environmental protection efforts in 15 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities from May to June.

With 26 million tons of sulphur dioxide discharged last year 27 per cent more than in 2000 China has become the world's biggest sulphur dioxide polluter.

Acid rain poses a major threat to soil and food safety, he said.

Sheng said sulphur dioxide emissions were double the acceptable environmental limit, and coal-burning power stations and coking plants were the main culprits.

According to the report, nearly 650 out of 680 coking plants in North China's Shanxi, the country's major coal mining province, discharged excessive sulphur dioxide.

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