Officials in Weifang city in China’s eastern Shandong Province have been caught throwing USD 6.8 million worth of chemicals into a river ahead of a government inspection to mask pollution problem, according to a state-run media report.
Weifang city and its Binhai Economic and Technologic Development Zone mainly relied on throwing chemicals into the Weitan River in order to tackle the pollution, which basically did not show any effect, the central environmental inspection group found over the weekend, the Ministry of Ecology and Environmental (MEE) said in a statement.
The chemicals could hide pollutants and improve the water quality over the short term, which allowed the project to pass the approval process in July, state-run Global Times quoted the statement as saying Wednesday. However, in August the river water quality worsened again.
The problem was found by the central environmental inspection group. The group found the pollution issue of the river during its inspection in 2017, after which the provincial government made a management plan, vowing to eliminate pollution in the river before June 2018.