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Survey Finds Sixteen Percent of the Land in China is Polluted

On April 17, China’s Ministry of  Environmental Protection, the Ministry of Land and Resources released an "Official Report on National Soil Pollution," based on an eight-year survey of over 6.3 million square kilometers of land across the country. The report found that about 16 percent of the country’s soil and 19 percent of its arable land were polluted to one degree or another. The vast majority of the pollution came from cadmium, nickel, copper, arsenic, mercury, lead, DDT and PAHs. The latest results contrast with the situation in October 2011, when 8.3 percent of the arable land was polluted.

In his government report earlier this year, Chinese premier Li Keqiang announced the initiation of a "Soil Remediation Project." However, Chinese scholars estimated that soil pollution prevention and remediation demands trillions or even tens of trillions in investment, while the central government’s budget for soil remediation during the twelfth five-year plan period, or 2011 to 2015, is only 30 billion yuan (US$4.8 billion).

Source: China Youth Daily reprinted by Xinhua, June 6, 2014