The 12th five year Plan against heavy metal pollution has been implemented for four years and has been overall efficient but is still facing “problems not to be ignored” according to the Ministry of the Environment.
By the end of 2013, pollution by five types of heavy metals (lead, mercury, cadmium, chromium and metals containing arsenic) had been reduced of 10.5% compared to 2007, 4000 heavy metal polluting factories had closed their doors, 2.04 million tuns of copper, 2.96 million tuns of lead 850 thousand tuns of zinc less had been smelt.
Even if most provinces obtained outstanding results, many problems prevent the achievement of the plan’s goals. Inner Mongolia, Hunan, Shaanxi and Sichuan did not achieve the expected results and lag behind the plan. Moreover, the production of products containing other heavy metals such as vinyl chloride has been increasing rapidly.
As a result, the Ministry of environment has already informed provincial governments of the need for accelerating the implementation of efficient procedures to fight heavy metal pollution and has earmarked special funds for the four provinces lagging behind. It has furthermore pledged to reinforce the supervision and punishment of heavy-metal producing factories in order to achieve the plan’s goals by the end of 2015.