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. Man Jailed In China For Dumping Chemical Waste

File photo: A dumped toxic waste container.
by Staff Writers
Shanghai (AFP) Nov 21, 2006
A Chinese man was sentenced to 18 months in jail for illegally dumping chemical waste, state press reported Tuesday. Xiao Cangwang dumped 39 tons of unprocessed construction site waste that contained poisonous chemicals including hydrogen chloride and hydrogen fluoride on three occasions between March and June in Shanghai, the China Daily said.

The waste, which emitted a strong odor and caused skin irritations for one passer-by, cost the authorities 330,000 yuan (41,770 dollars) to clean up, according to a Shanghai court cited by the newspaper.

The maximum penalty for people convicted of causing serious environmental pollution is seven years in prison, it said.

Xiao, 40, dumped the chemical waste by the side of the road and at another construction site on behalf of a chemical manufacturer for a fee, it said.

Reports of businesses and individuals being punished for dumping chemicals and other waste -- a common practice that has significantly contributed to China's vast environmental woes -- rarely surface in the national press.

earlier related report
Heavy fines in Beijing for noise polluters
Beijing (AFP) Nov 21 - Beijing would introduce heavy fines for noise polluters in an effort to bring some quiet back to the once serene ancient capital, state press reported Tuesday.

Under the new noise management regulations, construction companies, property management firms, drivers and street vendors would face fines if they generated noise that caused disturbances in their neighborhood, the China Daily reported.

From next month, construction companies could be fined up to 200,000 yuan (25,320 dollars) -- seven times the current penalty -- if construction work was carried out between 10pm and 8am, or during school exam periods, the report said.

Drivers who honked in quiet zones and street vendors who used loudspeakers to attract customers could also be fined up to 50,000 yuan, it said.

Property management firms of office and residential buildings could also be fined up to 100,000 yuan if their air conditioning systems failed to meet environmental standards.

Beijing has suffered worsening noise pollution in recent years amid a building construction frenzy and a rocketing number of cars on the road.

According to Beijing's environmental bureau, public complaints on noise constituted half the environmental complaints they received over the past two years, the paper said.

Source: Agence France-Presse

Related Links
Our Polluted World and Cleaning It Up

Greens See Red Over A Thousand Hindu Fires In India
Kolkata (AFP) India, Nov 17, 2006
Hindus in eastern India Friday started more than a thousand fires in a mass ancient ritual that organisers said would help "fight diseases", but activists warned of environmental damage. Hundreds of priests chanted verses from Hindu scriptures and tonnes of wood and herbs were poured into more than a thousand pits for the mass "yagna" or a fire ceremony to please gods on the outskirts of eastern Kolkata city.

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