China to tighten controls on industrial production

China is to strengthen controls in industrial production to reduce water pollution. Papermaking, leather dyeing and other polluting industries which fail to meet national requirements by the end of next year will be affected, said Chen Jining, minister of environmental protection.

Technologies and facilities that will generate severe water pollution will be split into restricted and forbidden groups and sifted out, said Zhang Yong, deputy head of the National Development and Reform Commission.

Many provinces are planning to relocate more than 1,000 chemical plants away from populated regions, a move to persuade companies with heavy water pollution to upgrade but which may cost around 400 billion yuan, said Miao Wei, minister of industry and information technology.

Heads of authorities related to industrial production and the environment attended a discussion with national legislators on Saturday ahead of implementing the Law on Water Pollution and Prevention and answered questions on water pollution control.

Chen, the environment minister, said water pollution was concentrated in several major industries such as papermaking, food processing, chemicals and textiles, accounting for half the total water pollutants emission nationwide.

Companies in these industries are usually found along large rivers. For example, 46 per cent of chemical industries in Chengdu, Sichuan province are located along the Minjiang and Tuojiang rivers, which pose great risks of water pollution, Chen said.

Major polluting industries will be a target in water pollution control, Chen said, adding that by 2017, these industries need to upgrade to reduce emissions.

Regions which fail to meet national standards will have a higher and in industrial zones sewage process plants must be established or businesses will be shut down, Chen said.

As an effective economic way to control water pollution emissions at source, China will expand pollutant permits to cover large polluting companies under State monitoring, and issue permits to pilot regions which are allowed to trade water pollutants emission permits by the end of this year, Chen said.

The permits system will help the authority monitor the whole production process, Chen said.

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