Local officials have suspended and might close Oji Paper's mill in Qidong, Jiangsu, China; protesters that are set to rally against the paper mill on July 28 say its pulp wastewater pollutes the sea via a 62-mile-long pipeline

LOS ANGELES , July 26, 2012 () –

A protest set for July 28 seeks to stop Oji Paper Group’s mill in Qidong, Jiangsu, China, from becoming fully operational, claiming that the paper mill’s wastewater discharges are polluting the sea, reported the Global Times on July 27.

The city has already suspended the mill’s operations and might close it, said Qidong Vice Mayor Zhang Jianxin in a July 26 television appearance. The mill’s wastewater discharges meet national standards, he added.

Construction of the US$2-billion mill was started in 2007 and trial operation commenced in 2010, according to Oji Paper’s website, the Global Times reported.

Oji Paper said that its processing employs green technologies. The Japan-based company has other Chinese projects in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Quingdao in Shandong Province, and in Shanghai.

The mill in China’s coastal city of Qidong discharges its wastewater via a 100-kilometer (62 miles) pipeline that is shared with a lot of other industries. Locals say the mill produces 150,000 tons of dirty water daily, reported the Global Times.

The protest on July 28 is expected to draw about 10,000 people, who will walk the streets to voice their opinion. The protestors were refused a protest permit by the local government, said Gu Bin, a local resident who has opposed the mill since 2009.

The city also has refused repeated requests to release the results of the mill’s environmental assessment report to the public, Gu said.

Oji is aware of the pending protest, said a company office worker named Huang, who works at the Nantong factory. He said that while Oji uses the pipeline, the local government is responsible for building and handling it, the Global Times reported.

The primary source of this article is the Global Times, Beijing, China, on July 27, 2012.


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