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Northeast China Province Intensifies Pollution Control on Songhua River

The northeastern province of Jilin will invest 8.8 billion yuan (about US$1 billion) in the next five years to control pollution in the Songhua River, which flows into the Sino-Russian border river.

The money will be used to build 38 urban sewage treatment projects, 29 urban garbage disposal facilities, and 22 projects targeting industrial pollution and boosting clean production in the river valley. The investment will also cover nine projects designed to protect drinking water sources and four other environmental projects in the river valley, according to the local government.

The 1,900-km-long Songhua River originates in Jilin Province and irrigates an area of 545,600 sq km in northeast China. It flows into the Heilong River, known as the Amur River to Russians, which runs along the Sino-Russian border.

There have been frequent reports of pollution in the river and its tributaries in recent months.

Ten tons of toxic chemicals were dumped into Songhua's tributary Mangniu River in Jilin by two truck drivers from Changbaishan Jingxi Chemical Company in August this year.

Last November, about 100 tons of polluted waste containing benzene spilled into the Songhua River after a chemical plant explosion in Jilin. The incident forced cities along the river, including Harbin, to temporarily cut water supplies to 3.8 million people.

(Xinhua News Agency November 3, 2006)

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