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Special> Aftermath of the Quake> Latest News
UPDATED: May 31, 2008  
Overall Environmental Quality Stable, Water Quality Potable in Quake-hit Sichuan

The overall environmental quality in China's earthquake-ravaged southwestern Sichuan Province has remained "stable" and water quality eligible for drinking, the Ministry of Environmental Protection said on Friday.

The ministry has stepped up its efforts on the monitoring of the hard-hit areas, including the province's Shifang City, and has taken measures to eliminate potential risks, it said in a statement on its Website.

A quake-induced burst of a dam of pyrites belonging to the Sichuan Huangjia Group in Jiangyou City in hard-hit Mianyang City has been under control, according to the ministry.

Samples from three sections of the dam indicated there were no traces of poisonous elements, including copper, arsenic, mercury, cadmium, lead or chromium VI.

The ministry's eight inspection groups have checked 20 key companies in the Shifang chemical industrial park, spotting about 3,000 tonnes of hazardous chemicals, including yellow phosphorus, concentrated sulfuric acid, phosphoric acid and ammonia, as well as chemical sewage discharge risks.

These companies have been ordered to rectify their management, according to the ministry.

So far, 15,164 people have been mobilized in Sichuan to conduct inspection on environmental risks. During the inspection of 14,357enterprises, including 2,949 chemical firms, they spotted 134 potential risks with 28 having been dealt with.

Altogether, 49,421 people have been mobilized in 13 provincial-level areas, including Shaanxi, Gansu and Chongqing. Ministry figures show it spotted 68 major risks in the inspection of 21,906 enterprises with 54 of them having been rectified.

(Xinhua News Agency May 31, 2008)

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