Demand Chemical Plant Clean Up Pollution in China’s Longest River

KWS Mona Lake dead fish 6.JPG

Target: Zhang Zhonghua, Chairman of Hubei Shuanghuan Science & Technology Inc.

Goal: Clean up pollutants in the Fu River and prevent future spillages

Thousands of fish were killed recently on a nineteen-mile-long stretch of the Fu River, a tributary of China’s longest river, the Yangtze.  Tests revealed extremely high levels of ammonia caused by pollution from a local chemical plant in Hubei Province in central China owned by Hubei Shuanghuan Science and Technology Company.  Although the Fu River is not used for drinking water, the Yangtze is, leaving the potential for the plant’s pollutants to contaminate the source of drinking water for millions.  The pollution must be cleaned up before it affects such a large population.

Since 2008, Hubei Shuanghuan’s plant has had four citations for environmental violations.  Despite being ordered to fix the problem each time, enforcement is evidently too lackadaisical to urge the plant, which produces sodium carbonate for glass and ammonium chloride for fertilizer, to prevent future spills.  This particular spill produced ammonia concentrations as high as 196 milligrams per liter.  Ammonia occurs naturally in surface water at about 12 milligrams per liter, while drinking water standards are set at about 0.02 milligrams per liter.

Water pollution is a serious concern in China, with farm runoff, untreated sewage, and industrial chemical spills affecting the quality of water.  Nearly a third of the major rivers monitored by China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection are deemed unfit even for human contact, let alone drinking.  While China has invested in reducing water pollution, spills such as Hubei Shuanghuan’s into the Yangtze and its tributaries are still a concern.

Hubei Shuanghuan’s recent spill in the Fu River has killed thousands of fish and carries with it potential danger for millions of Chinese who get their drinking water from the Yangtze River.  The company has a history of spilling into the river and needs to clean up their act.  Demand that Hubei Shuanghuan Science and Technology clean up their pollution spill and adopt better practices to avoid spillages in the future.


Dear Mr. Zhang,

Your plant’s recent spill into the Fu River has killed thousands of fish and posed a threat to the health and safety of millions of people.  The amount of ammonia found in the water as a consequence of your negligence is more than sixteen times the natural level and 9800 times higher than drinking water standards.  The spill needs to be cleaned up immediately, and your organization needs to prevent this from happening again.

Over the past five years, this chemical plant has had four citations for environmental violations.  It is unsafe to use tributaries of a river that serves as drinking water for millions of people as your dumping ground.  You are affecting wildlife and humans alike.  The practice should have stopped after the first citation.  We demand that you clean up the pollution you have already created and take measures to ensure this never happens again.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Gerald Simmons via Flickr

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