Waste: Illegal sewage discharge underlined
Intensified efforts will be made to punish enterprises that illegally discharge sewage containing heavy metal to stop it from flowing into farmland, he said. In some regions, especially where heavy metal mines are located, farmland is seriously polluted, which has caused food safety problems and aroused public complaints in recent years, Ji said.
In November, a media report said rice growing in some farmland in Gangkoujie township in Jiujiang, Jiangxi province, was found to contain cadmium at more than eight times the national standard, which caused a panic among locals.
Investigations by local authorities later found sewage discharged by a local mine caused pollution of nearby farmland. Also, sewage treatment capacity in some cities had fallen behind demand, the report noted.
Yu Fawen, an agricultural researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said environmental pollution is very serious in many rural areas of China, with treatment of sewage and solid waste at a significantly lower level than in urban areas, and more funding from the government is needed.
“A means of improving and maintaining the environment in rural areas should be established, so that different parties, including farmers, can participate in environmental protection,” he added.