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Solar panel plant shut down as residents protest

(People's Daily Online)

08:17, September 19, 2011

Grievances and protests staged by more than 500 residents near a solar panel factory in East China's Zhejiang Province has forced the plant to shut down and deal with pollution it has caused in its vicinity.

The protesters gathered outside the Jinko Solar Holding Co Ltd and aired their complaints and disapprovals last week.

The Shanghai Daily reported on Monday that local government in Haining City held New York-listed solar equipment plant responsible for discharging contaminated water into a local river system that has killed large numbers of fish.

Lately, rumors were running that “dozens of people” in Hongxiao Village of Haining had contracted cancers, including leukemia, because of drinking the contaminated water. Also, police has detained a man for spreading the rumors on the Internet.

The newspaper quoted Haining officials as saying that there were four cancer patients in the village reported last year and two this year, as contrast to the rumor claiming that 31 villagers had contracted cancers.

Because of the rumors, more than 500 villagers went to the factory Thursday night demanding an explanation, the Haining government said. Some protesters even charged into the factory compound, overturning eight company vehicles and ransacking offices.

On Friday, four police vehicles were damaged by the protesters, The Shanghai Daily reported.

Video footage posted on the Haining municipal government's information office website showed the factory's smashed windows, while dozens of police patrolling and maintaining order near the solar plant.

It is reported that the factory's waste disposal system has been failing pollution tests since April. Despite warning from the relevant authorities, the plant had not effectively controlled the pollution, Xinhua News Agency cited Chen Hongming, deputy head of Haining's environmental protection bureau, as saying.

Toxic waste from the plant, which manufactures photovoltaic panels, cells and wafers, contained excessive fluorine, The Shanghai Daily reported.

A 64-year-old Hongxiao villager surnamed Shi told The Associated Press not only did the factory discharge waste water into a river, it also spewed dense smoke out of a dozen chimneys.

"An elementary school and a kindergarten are located less than a kilometer from the plant. My house is only about 500 meters from the plant. Many fish died after the factory discharged waste into a small river," Shi said.

"The villagers strongly request that this factory be moved to another area. I am very worried about the health of the younger generation," he said.

A number of people suspected of theft and vandalism during the protest have been caught by police.

The incident was the latest major environmental protest in China.

Last month, 12,000 residents in the northeastern city of Dalian protested after storm waves broke a dike at a chemical plant and raised fears floodwaters could release toxic chemicals. Officials have pledged to relocate the plant.

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Leave your comment6 comments

  1. Name

PD User at 2011-09-20125.162.151.*
easy to say,perhaps is maintanance,cause the rich land of China is not China anymore once is full sucked,no different with other land.not China anymore where some sword master find a rare metal and forge it and become China history.China history is already written for thousand of years and will continue,as Chairman Deng decision to work on great economy.but not as good as his military advice,describe as Chen Gong,but no man to chalengge.hundreds of hidden treasure is hidden.
ASEAN at 2011-09-19220.255.1.*
The leadership in Beijing needs to know the importance of controlling air, sea and land pollutions. You cannot develop a country by just looking at the GDP. What is the use of having thousands of skyscrapers when all your lakes, rivers, air and land are heavily polluted ?What is the use of having the largest reserve in the world when the whole of China is polluted ?Pollution comes with heavy price. It is just a matter of time when more and more people have skin problems, weak immune systems, eyes problems, lung problems, cancers, etc.The worse is that more and more children are born deformed.To prevent all these problems, China’s leadership in Beijing needs to tackle pollution problems head on. Newspapers in China should be encouraged to report on factories polluting rivers, lakes, air and lands. This include the People’s Daily.Journalists in China should be protected by law when they report about certain factories polluting the environment. The leadership in Beijing should know that newspapers and journalists help them to govern China as they are the one that expose unhappiness in cities and towns.China needs to control pollution for the sake of the future generation.Please, please, use your foreign reserve to clean up the whole of China.
PD User at 2011-09-19124.231.80.*
It"s sorry to say that polluted plants has no responsibility to the public.
PD User at 2011-09-1958.68.145.*
shut down all polluting plants in China
helen at 2011-09-19118.100.69.*
There must be some ways that the authorities can prevent riots/protests by requiring local officials to listen and attend to grievances in their districts.There is now a tendency among some Chinese to resort to violence. This must be arrested before it becomes a norm. And foreign intelligence (especially the CIA and its Chinese recruits in China)) are just waiting to fan more fires and disrupt the peace and stability in China.From now on, local officials are to be accountable for any riots in their areas. Corrupt and inept officials and riot leaders are to be punished severely according to Chinese Laws.
  

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