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A River Runs Cleaner: More from Xiangfan

This post is also available in: Chinese (Simplified)

As we mentioned last week, we saw a positive story of improved water quality in Xiangfan. This story is worth examining more closely. How much do actual monitoring results bear out the apparent improvements in water quality? (One caveat: rain has swelled the water levels in the local rivers diluting pollution in the river.) What made the difference? We understand that government shut-down of small, heavily-polluting factories (largely in Henan) made the difference. These were plants that were not very profitable, employed few people and a source of big headaches for local government. We had hoped to find a strengthening of environmental regulation, but shut-downs of the worst polluters (which at the same time made minimal contribution to the local economy) is a good step forward.

We’re interested in looking into these questions further. But for now, it’s just nice to hear a story of good people bringing about positive change.




The middle photo shows the same river in the photo above just a few years before.

Note the thick foam and darker water in the earlier photo.

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