Layers of subcontracting to earn the difference, dumping into the countryside at will, concealing internal and external collusion, burying criminal evidence to avoid supervision

Trans-provincial pollution discharge "business" planted an "ecological bomb" in the countryside

  Our reporter Lai Xing, Min Zuntao, Zhang Xuan

  Some transported 1124.1 tons of sodium sulfate waste liquid from Zhejiang to the mountain depressions in Fuliang County, Jiangxi in 30 times; some transported 6 tankers of waste liquid with hazardous ingredients from Jiangsu to Xiajiang County, Jiangxi, and dumped them to rural ponds. …In the past month, Jiangxi has pronounced multiple cases of trans-provincial dumping of hazardous waste.

  With the development of social economy, the amount of hazardous waste generated in our country is increasing year by year.

According to data released by the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, in 2019, the amount of industrial hazardous waste generated in 196 large and medium-sized cities across the country was 44.989 million tons, and the amount of medical waste generated was 843,000 tons.

  The Xinhua Daily Telegraph reporter found that when most of the hazardous waste was scientifically and effectively disposed of, a small part of the hazardous waste was illegally dumped and buried across provinces.

These hazardous wastes are like "ecological bombs" hitting the countryside, causing serious environmental pollution and incurring huge environmental restoration costs.

  In response to illegal inter-provincial pollution discharge, the interviewed experts and industry insiders pointed out that it is necessary to adhere to zero tolerance and severe crackdowns, but also to focus on source governance and long-term mechanism construction to resolutely prevent "ecological bombs" from destroying beautiful villages.

Illegal dumping of hazardous waste 30 times within 5 months

  Dongkou Village is located in Fuliang County, a "national ecological county". It is a village with beautiful mountains and clear waters in northeastern Jiangxi, with a clear stream flowing through it.

  On January 4, 2021, after waiting for more than two years, the villagers learned that a Zhejiang company that caused huge pollution to Dongkou Village was sentenced to more than 3 million yuan for ecological restoration, and 6 related personnel were also charged for environmental pollution. Sentenced.

  Villager Rao Guisheng is one of the victims of this pollution incident. His home is only ten or twenty meters away from the river, and his little grandson often plays in the riverside.

One day in July 2018, the little grandson’s skin suddenly blistered in multiple places and gradually ulcerated. After the doctor diagnosed it, he thought it was caused by skin poisoning.

In order to see a doctor for his grandson, his family spent nearly 10,000 yuan on medical expenses.

During that time, villagers in Dongkou Village discovered that a foreign vehicle was dumping unknown liquid near the village.

  "The mountain spring water we used suddenly started to foam a lot and gave out a pungent smell. There were more and more dead fish and shrimps in the river. Some villagers suspected that the river water was polluted." Rao Guisheng said.

  The villagers began to investigate the source of the pollution.

"One morning, I tracked down a large tanker with Zhejiang license plate and found it was discharging sewage. So I immediately called four or five villagers to stop the tanker and call the police." Dongkou Villager Shang Donghua said.

  Soon, environmental law enforcement officers and public security police identified the suspects based on clues provided by the villagers.

In August 2018, 6 people including Wu Moumin and Wu Mouliang, the production manager of Zhejiang Hailan Chemical Co., Ltd. were detained under criminal law, including 4 from Zhejiang and 2 from Jiangxi.

  The Fuliang County Court found that in the nearly five months from March 3, 2018 to July 31 of the same year, the criminals committed 30 consecutive crimes and dumped more than 1,100 tons of sodium sulfate waste liquid to the local ecological environment. Caused huge damage.

After testing, the sodium azide content in the sodium sulfate wastewater in the tank truck is 2096mg/L, far exceeding the standard value of 3mg/L.

Villagers living on the water have to find water sources to dig wells to get water.

  Dumping pollutants at will not only damages the environment, but also incurs huge repair costs.

Appraisal by the environmental protection agency, the total cost of ecological environment restoration for two contaminated plots in Fuliang County was 2.168 million yuan.

  On December 29, 2020, Dongxiang District, Fuzhou City, Jiangxi Province also sentenced a case of illegal transportation and burying of medical waste across the province.

Four men from Jiangsu, Zhejiang and other places transported medical waste from Hubei to bury it in Dongxiang District for profit, causing serious environmental pollution.

  The reporter recently came to the contaminated land, where about 120 tons of medical waste were buried, a large amount of hazardous waste leaked out, and a lot of volatile gas was generated.

Although the pollutants were transferred and disposed of two years ago, the pungent smell still lingers in the air.

  “In June 2018, when we arrived at the site, we smelled a strong smell of chemicals. After testing, the relevant departments found that the nickel, benzene, trichloroethylene, and ethylbenzene found in the landfill site were all toxic, of which total petroleum hydrocarbons 306.94 times the standard value." said Li Wei, leader of the ecological environment law enforcement and supervision team in Dongxiang District, Fuzhou City.

After this inter-provincial pollution discharge incident occurred, the local government has actively excavated and disposed of these pollutants, and has spent nearly 3 million yuan.

According to the evaluation of relevant departments, the cost of ecological restoration in the later period will still need more than 5 million yuan.

The "business experience" of inter-provincial pollution discharge

  The reporter's investigation found that the current cross-provincial pollution discharge has formed an increasingly mature and hidden industrial chain, from waste production units to business intermediaries, from transportation to burying and disposal, all links are intertwined.

  -Layers of subcontracting make the difference, and the price of hazardous waste disposal is "skinned".

4,000 yuan, 2,000 yuan, 1,000 yuan, and 500 yuan. Behind these four figures is a subcontracting chain of illegal transfer and disposal of hazardous waste across provinces.

"From the waste production unit to the business intermediary and then transferred to the landfill disposer, the disposal price of one ton of medical waste was reduced from 4000 yuan to only one-eighth of the normal price after subcontracting. Dumping to make money.” said Chen Fang, a judge of the People's Court of Dongxiang District, Fuzhou City.

  ——Illegal contracting of disposal business, dumping at will and harming villages.

In inter-provincial pollution discharge cases, most of the companies that contract hazardous waste disposal business have no qualifications for hazardous waste disposal.

In the inter-provincial pollution discharge case in Fuliang County, Wu Moumin knew that Wu Mouliang was not qualified to treat waste water, and still handed over the sodium sulfate wastewater produced by the company to Wu Mouliang for treatment.

According to the confession of the accomplices, once after dumping sodium sulfate waste in Fuliang County, they sent these waste water samples for inspection and testing.

Laboratory test results show that in terms of pollution level, such 50 tons of wastewater can be worth 10,000 tons of domestic sewage.

Some associates informed Wu Mouliang of the test results, but Wu Mouliang still insisted on transporting the waste liquid to Fuliang County for dumping.

  “Because criminals do not have the qualifications and procedures to handle hazardous waste, they use ordinary trucks or tank trucks to transport hazardous waste. Sometimes, the hazardous waste is transported to the barren hills at the junction of the two counties in the middle of the night, so it is difficult to be found.” Li Wei said.

  -The tactics of internal and external collusion are concealed, burying criminal evidence to avoid supervision.

In some inter-provincial pollution discharge cases, criminals have become increasingly concealed. They often buy local people to lead the way and dump pollutants in hidden areas such as mountain valleys and rivers in the countryside to cover people's eyes.

For example, in the Fuliang pollution case, Wu Mouliang asked two Jiangxi accomplices to take Li Mouxian, who was in charge of the transportation link, to the entrance of Bajiaojing and Xianghu Township, Shouan Town, Fuliang County at a cost of 1,000 yuan each time. Dump sodium sulfate wastewater on the barren hills of the village.

  On December 17, 2020, the People's Court of Xiajiang County, Jiangxi Province also sentenced a case of illegal dumping of hazardous waste across provinces.

In order to cover up the evidence, the criminals dumped 6 tanks of waste liquid directly into the pond in Yantou Village, Luotian Town, Xiajiang County.

Get out of the dilemma of "corporate pollution, people suffering, government paying the bill"

  Interviewed law enforcement officials said that they sometimes cannot prevent these "ecological bombs" from outside, and they face multiple difficulties in the process of investigating cases, such as difficulty in finding, handling, and repairing.

  "These criminals' modus operandi is concealed and it is difficult to catch the current situation. Moreover, because they do not have professional disposal capabilities, they adopt a disorderly dumping method, dumping a large amount of hazardous waste, a large variety, a complex composition, and a high degree of harm, making excavation difficult. Problems such as large, high appraisal costs, and large repair projects." Li Wei said.

  According to Chen Fang, the judge handling the case, in the face of huge ecological restoration costs, some criminals are unable to compensate, which makes such cases easy to fall into the predicament of "corporate pollution, people suffer, and the government pays."

  According to industry insiders, on the whole, my country has achieved positive results in advancing the prevention and control of solid waste pollution.

According to the 2020 National Annual Report on the Prevention and Control of Solid Waste Pollution in Large and Medium-sized Cities by the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, in 2019, the Ministry of Ecology and Environment organized and carried out special treatment of hazardous waste, and investigated more than 400 chemical parks and more than 20,000 nationwide. Hazardous waste environmental risks of key industry hazardous waste producing units and those holding hazardous waste licenses, and eliminate hidden environmental risks.

Compared with 2006, the approved collection and utilization and disposal capacity of hazardous waste holders in 2019 and the actual collection and utilization and disposal volume of hazardous waste increased by 1709% and 1098% respectively.

  In response to a small number of criminals who illegally discharged pollution across provinces, interviewed experts and industry insiders pointed out that not only must we adhere to zero tolerance and severe crackdowns, we must also pay attention to source governance and long-term mechanism construction.

  First, strengthen the supervision of trans-regional hazardous waste transfer and disposal, establish departmental and regional joint prevention and control mechanisms, and intensify the crackdown on illegal crimes.

Experts suggest that we should make full use of technologies such as the Internet of Things and big data to establish a hazardous waste intelligent monitoring platform, so that each type of hazardous waste has a "source code", and each transfer track can be traced, so as to realize the clearing of hazardous waste in the jurisdiction. Go to Ming.

  Secondly, through technological improvement, reductions in emissions and emissions from the source.

"On the one hand, the comprehensive utilization and disposal of hazardous waste will be'improved and expanded' to promote specialized, large-scale, and resource-based utilization and disposal of hazardous waste; on the other hand, enterprises are encouraged to promote cleaner production, from raw material selection and process equipment transformation Improve energy conservation and emission reduction." said an industry expert from an environmental protection center in Shanghai.

  In addition, popularize hazardous waste knowledge and raise awareness of environmental protection.

In Chen Fang's view, many criminals who pollute the environment do not have enough awareness of the dangers and the consequences of their own actions. They often cause irreparable losses to the society because of petty gains.

It is necessary to further popularize the knowledge of hazardous waste pollution prevention, do a good job in the interpretation of laws, regulations and policies, enhance the public's legal system and environmental protection awareness, and jointly protect the ecological environment.