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NE China province reveals details of spill emergency plan for cross-border river
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21:45, July 07, 2009

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The details of an oil spill emergency plan have been revealed in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province to ensure timely and effective treatment of possible oil spill on a major waterway crossing the China-Russia border.

Wang Junbo, chief of the Heilongjiang Maritime Safety Bureau, said Tuesday that the plan, which was released and implemented on 1 July, would help contain pollution on the Heilongjiang River.

The plan said if an oil spill occurred, the first thing was to rescue the vessel crew in danger, no matter which nationality they belonged to, and then handle the spill.

City water sources and nature reserves would be given a priority for protection in case of an oil spill, Wang said.

The river was at an increasing risk of oil spill pollution as several hundred oil wells had emerged in the upper reaches of the Songhua River, the largest tributary of the Heilongjang River, according to Wang.

Serious oil spills have had happened in the past few years. In November 2005, an estimated 100 tonnes of polluted waste containing benzene spilled into the Songhua River after a chemical plant explosion in Jilin Province. The incident forced Heilongjiang's provincial capital Harbin, to cut water supplies to 3.8 million people for four days.


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