Notice Banning Discussion of Guangdong Nansha Oil Project Environmental Impact Report

rivercrabGuangdong Nansha integrated oil refinery and petrochemical project is a major inititiative, involving Kuwait National Oil Company and Guangdong Province. The project’s potential impact on the environment became a concern of not only the residents of Guangzhou, but also neighboring Hong Kong. On March 4, 2009, Hong Kong legislator Yu Ruohui raised this question, and the Director of the Environmental Protection Department in Hong Kong replied, saying, “As far as we understand, the impact assessment of the proposed project has yet to be approved.”

However, in the last few days, an internal notice from Internet supervision departments was sent to all major Chinese news websites, translated by CDT’s Japhet Weeks.

“Environmental impact report for the Guangdong Nansha integrated oil refinery and petrochemical project”: All internet sites are prohibited from reproducing, commenting on, or discussing anything relating to the content of this report. Nor should it be discussed on blogs. Furthermore, blogs should set up keyword filtering to make sure the topic isn’t discussed. All websites are requested to strictly implement these rules.

《广东南沙炼油化工一体化项目环境影响报告书》将于近日公示,公示期间,各网站对有关内容不转载、不报道、不评论,论坛、博客不讨论并设置关键词过滤。请各网站务必严格执行。

This notice aroused suspicion and anger among Chinese netizens, many of whom reposted and criticized it online. The environmental impact report itself has not yet been publicized online.

Previous citizens protests over large infrastructure and industrial projects have resulted in the projects being canned: See Xiamen PX and Shanghai Maglev.

Update:

* China Tries to Censor Info About Proposed Oil Refinery in Environmentally Sensitive Area by Mridul Chadha.

* The Curious Case of the Nansha Refinery on the China Environmental Law blog.