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Yellow River Contaminated by Diesel Leak

Posted by feww on January 4, 2010

Despite frantic efforts by 700 emergency workers to contain the spill, diesel leak contaminated the Yellow River

The Yellow River, the water source for millions of people, was contaminated by a diesel fuel leak from a broken oil pipeline in northern China, despite efforts by more than 700 emergency workers to contain the spill, China’s official news agency Xinhua reported.

Emergency workers repair the leakage on a diesel pipeline in Huaxian county in northwest China’s Shaanxi province, Jan. 3, 2010. The Yellow River, the water source for millions, has been contaminated by a diesel fuel leak despite efforts to contain the spill in a tributary, forcing authorities along the river to suspend water supplies. (Xinhua/Yuan Jingzhi). Image may be subject to copyright.

Some 150,000 litres of diesel had spilled into the Wei river in Shaanxi province following a construction, Xinhua had reported earlier.

The diesel spill had first entered the Chishui river, a tributary of the Wei. The Wei is a major tributary of the Yellow River, China’s second-longest, and the water source for millions of people.

The leak which occurred in a pipeline owned by China National Petroleum Corp., the country’s largest producer of oil and gas, has now contaminated the Yellow River.

“Running through eight cities in Henan Province, the Yellow River provides the source of drinking water for Zhengzhou and Kaifeng, two of the province’s largest cities [combined population of about 10 million.]” Xinhua reported.

“One third of the Yellow River is heavily polluted by industrial waste and unsafe for any use, according to criteria used by the U.N. Environmental Program.” Washington Post reported.

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One Response to “Yellow River Contaminated by Diesel Leak”

  1. feww said

    Oil spill pollutes tributary of China’s Yellow River
    AFP = APRIL 3, 2010
    BEIJING — A tributary of China’s Yellow River has been polluted by an oil spill, state-run media reported Saturday, in the latest environmental accident to threaten the nation’s drinking water.

    About 1,000 tonnes of oil sludge has contaminated farmland and the Luohe River in northern Shaanxi province after a recycling pool at a sewage treatment plant collapsed last Sunday, the China Daily said.

    More than 2,000 people have been scrambling to clean up the mess and eight containment belts have been set up downstream from the spill, the English-language newspaper said.

    “At present the sludge in the river has been effectively controlled and we will make efforts to clean up the contamination in the farmland and valley,” local government official Wang Hongli was quoted as saying.

    AFP calls to the local environmental protection bureau went unanswered.

    More than 30 years of unbridled economic growth have left most of China’s lakes and rivers heavily polluted, while the nation’s urban dwellers also face some of the world’s worst air pollution.

    More than 200 million Chinese currently do not have access to safe drinking water, according to government data.

    In January, two tributaries of the Yellow River were “seriously polluted” by an oil spill after a pipeline operated by China’s largest oil producer, China National Petroleum Corp., ruptured.

    In that incident up to 150,000 litres of diesel spilled into the Chishui and Wei rivers.

    Copyright © 2010 AFP.

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