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Over a 100 paper mills located along Dongting Lake, China’s second largest freshwater lake, were ordered to close after they failed to reduce pollution as promised.
The mills discharge chemical-laden waste into the lake, and Jiang Yimin, director of Hunan Provincial Bureau of Environmental Protection, expressed concern that the mills were unable to control pollution.
Jiang told the People’s Daily Online, that production would not be allowed to resume until a paper mill operator can meet requirements for wastewater discharge.
The Dongting Lake flows into the Yangtze River and has been plagued by pollution, which has led to a decline in marine life. The river has also spread schistosomiasis among Chinese residents.
Of the paper mills along the lake, only two have met wastewater discharge requirements. Last year the mills discharged 100 million tons of wastewater into Dongting Lake, threatening the region’s drinking water.
Paper mills that are not able to meet pollution standards by the end of the year will be permanently shut down.