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Wang
Jul 14, 2006, 07:07
Regulator: China's Plants Pose Risk

By JOE McDONALD Associated Press Writer
© 2006 The Associated Press

BEIJING — Most of China's chemical plants pose a "grave environmental risk" because they are located too close to cities and rivers, a top regulator said Tuesday.

The State Environmental Protection Administration warned of an increase in toxic accidents unless safety was tightened at facilities, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

A government study prompted by a string of pollution disasters found that 81 percent of the 7,555 plants surveyed are near water sources or population centers, Xinhua said.

"Unless effective risk prevention measures were taken, it would be impossible to check the trend of surging environmental incidents," SEPA deputy director Pan Yue was quoted by Xinhua as saying.

Environmental protection, long ignored in China's breakneck economic growth, has taken on unprecedented official urgency following toxic river spills that forced several cities to cut off running water to millions of people.



Go here (http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/fn/4039425.html) for the full news article.