Chinese Eco-detective Treads Lightly

From Christian Science Monitor:

“Can you smell something?”

Zhang Yadong stands on the banks of a murky stream and wrinkles his nose at the salty odor.

The Chinese government has promised for years to clean up this section of the , known as the He Jia Gou stream. But it’s unclear what progress has been made.

Mr. Zhang is using old-fashioned shoe leather to find out.

The stream flows into the main river right before it reaches Harbin, a city of 10 million people in the northeastern province of Heilongjiang.

Zhang takes in the scene: Across the river, dust swirls around a construction site. Nearby, a rust-colored pipe empties into the stream. On the banks, a few small vegetable plots are nestled against the brown water.

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