BEIJING, Nov. 1 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese government has released a guideline to ensure all dangerous wastes produced by major licensed units at or above city levels will be safely disposed of by 2015.
"Our country's prevention of pollution from dangerous wastes started late with a weak foundation and historical consequences. The pressure will be huge and the situation will remain austere until 2015," said the guideline jointly adopted by the Ministry of Environmental Protection, National Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and the Ministry of Health.
The document, which was made public on Monday, praised the progress made in that regard between 2006 to 2010, citing that licensed waste-producing units safely disposed of 8.4 million tonnes of dangerous wastes in 2010, up 180 percent from 2006.
It urged strengthened control of harmful wastes from the sources, supervising all waste-processing procedures as well as integrating legal, administrative, economic and technologic measures to stem illegal dumping of wastes and improve waste-treating capacities.
The guideline came after a series of waste dumping cases affecting local environments and people's health.
In May, seven people received jail terms from a local district court after two companies in southwest China's Yunnan Province were found to have dumped 5,000 tonnes of chromium-contaminated waste near a local reservoir and on nearby hills from April to June last year.
Ensuing rainfall reportedly washed some of the chemicals into local water supplies, causing the deaths of 77 heads of cattle. No human deaths have been attributed to chromium pollution in the case, but at least 14 local residents have been diagnosed with cancer since 2002 and many suspect their diseases were caused by contaminated drinking water.
The guideline set a goal of having 90 percent of units producing dangerous wastes at all levels and 95 percent of those dealing with these wastes at all levels to meet government management standards by 2015.
In addition, the document set down several key missions including surveying dangerous waste, developing an industry to utilize these wastes, and boosting capacities to safely dispose of heavy metal and medical wastes.