Mon Mar 6, 3:42 AM ET
BEIJING (Reuters) – The Chinese province of Hunan, home to China’s largest zinc smelter, is considering closing heavy industrial plants that pollute, a senior government official said on Monday.
Hunan, where former leader Mao Zedong was born, has rich deposits of lead and zinc. Smelters line the same rivers that provide drinking water for millions in the province.
The southern province has invested in environmental monitoring and began last winter to close small plants processing indium from waste ores in Zhuzhou and Xiangtan. Nevertheless, years of unrestricted dumping of poisonous industrial waste have taken their toll.
“We’re trying a scientific approach to development to give all the people a good living environment, clean water and good air,” Hunan’s Communist Party secretary Zhang Chunxian, told reporters on the sidelines of the annual meeting of parliament.
The provincial authorities are looking at polluting industries and working out what action to take, he added.