Probe into mysterious soil, water pollution

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SHANGHAI environmental authority is investigating soil pollution which has forced some Baziqiao Village residents to move into another town.

Songjiang District Environmental Protection Bureau said that the nauseating smell came from a reclaimed land in Yexie Town where soil and underground water were severely polluted. The piece of land is almost the size of a football pitch.

The bureau said the amount of carene found in underground water was 1,240 times the normal acceptable standard, while the amount of methylbenzene was 10 times the standard. Excess amount of the two chemicals were also found in the air. Oil like organic compounds were said to be the major pollutant.

However, the bureau has not been able to trace the polluter yet. Local officials said the land was used as chicken farms in early 1990s, but was later rented out to private companies and mills.

The bureau also collected soil and water samples from a nearby company Shanghai Yuhong Oil Product Company. It said it would take measures against the company if it was found responsible for causing soil pollution.

Seven of the worst affected families in the village have been moved to a hotel in neighboring Zhangze Town.

Authorities have covered the land with a huge plastic shed. Soil remediation plans are also being looked at and may be introduced in a month.

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