You are here:   Home/ Development News/ Highlights

Dye maker told to close factory and restore polluted environment

Shanghai Daily by Yang Jian, September 10, 2014 Adjust font size:

 Black, waste water discharged by the Ningxia Mingsheng Dye Chemical Co is seen at the Tengger Desert in the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region in this picture taken on September 6. — Xinhua

A textile dye manufacturer in northwest China has been ordered to close its factory after it was found to have discharged waste water into one of the nation’s largest deserts, severely polluting the environment.

The Zhongwei City government in the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region has halted production at the plant on the edge of the Tengger Desert and told the owners it had to be demolished by the end of the year, Xinhua news agency reported yesterday.

The Ningxia Mingsheng Dye Chemical Co was also ordered to restore the environment after demolition was complete, said Yu Zhengguo, the city’s environmental protection bureau director.

The Jiangsu-based company illegally built two waste water pools, each the size of a football field, in the desert behind the factory and directly discharged waste water colored black, green and red into them, Xinhua said, adding that some red waste water was still pouring out of a 30-centimeter pipe into one of the pools yesterday.

The waste water had apparently leaked to other areas of the desert, turning the sand black and green, the report said. Some sand had formed into red and orange bricks, the Xinhua report said, and a strong sour smell was evident several hundred meters from the pools.

In both pools, half the liquid had solidified into black bricks while the other half was orange glutinous liquid. Several small mounds beside the pools had built up, colored orange by the waste water, Xinhua said.

The factory, which moved to the desert in 1997, has been discharging waste water for more than 10 years, according to The Beijing News.

Its initial report at the weekend had alerted the city government to the problem.

A local resident told the newspaper they had to wear masks when walking close to the pools, otherwise they would feel dizzy with dry throats.

The newspaper said the company also drew on limited supplies of underground water from the desert for its production processes.

The environmental protection bureau has yet to announce punishment, only saying that the company would have to move its factory to the city’s industrial zone next month.

Yu said the city government will invite experts to determine how to best restore the desert environment and said the chemical company would be responsible for the restoration.

However, Liu Shurun, a professor at the Inner Mongolia Normal University, said it would be almost impossible to rectify the pollution underground.

Liu said the middle of the Tengger Desert was once covered with grass due to a sufficient supply of underground water and had previously been a gathering place for local herdsmen. It had also been home to many national level protected plants.

The 42,000-square-kilometer desert is in the border area between Ningxia and the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. 


Bookmark and Share

Related News & Photos