Chemical Spill in China’s Fuhe River Kills Off 110 Tons of Fish

A chemical plant discharged ammonia into a river in central China, killing fish along a 40 kilometer stretch and prompting the company responsible to suspend trading of its shares.

Authorities have cleared about 100,000 kilograms (110 tons) of fish from the Fuhe River in Hubei province since Sept. 2 after the spill at a factory owned by Hubei Shuanghuan Science and Technology Stock Co., the official Xinhua News Agency reported today, citing local authorities.

The Shenzhen-based company’s spill underscores the challenges that Chinese leaders face in fulfilling their promises to no longer sacrifice the environment for the sake of economic growth. Severe water pollution affects 75 percent of China’s rivers and lakes, according to Judith Shapiro, a professor at American University in Washington.

The factory was ordered to halt operations after local environmental protection department found ammonia exceeding national standards in samples from its drain outlet, Xinhua reported. Trading on the company’s shares were halted in Shenzhen.

Hubei Shuanghuan manufactures chemicals including soda ash, ammonium chloride and industrial salt.

— With assistance by Liza Lin

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