Court in China issues record pollution fine

The Xinhua news agency said the fine was the highest ever in China as a result of public interest litigation against polluters.

The companies were found guilty in August of discharging 25,000 tonnes of chemical waste into two Taizhou rivers.

China's rapid economic growth has caused widespread environmental damage.

The country is facing international pressure to clean up its environment and an increasing number of local protests concerning pollution.

The government says that around 70% of China's lakes and rivers are polluted.

Villagers near Phichit gold mine poisoned by heavy metals

The institute under the Justice Ministry found manganese and arsenic in 329 of 600 blood samples collected from locals in Thap Khlo district near the mine, which is part of the Chatree Mining Complex operated by Akara Resources Plc. The company operates mines in Saraburi, Phitsanulok and Phetchabun provinces.

Institute chief Porntip Rojanasunan estimated 6,000 people might be contaminated with the two heavy metals as well as cadmium, which was found in plants as far as four kilometres from the mine.

65 ill after Phayao toxic blast

Experts are testing for air and water pollution in Phayaois Ban Nam Waen where villagers have fallen sick after an agricultural chemical storehouse exploded.

Chiang Kham hospital carried out health checks on up to 65 residents after locals started vomiting as a result of breathing strong, unpleasant fumes from the burned-out storehouse, deputy Phayao governor Nimit Wanchaithanawong said yesterday.

The Environment And Safety

In D.I. Khan, ten people lost their lives after falling into a chemical drain yesterday. This chemical drain carried waste from the Chashma Sugar Mills and ends in the Indus River. Two things must be considered when addressing this incident: safety and accountability, for human life and the environment.

Revealed: Australia's timber treatment plant's toxic legacy

A multinational corporation was allowed to pollute Canberra water with toxic chemicals in a case exposing more than a decade of failings by ACT authorities.

Koppers Wood Products' timber treatment plant in Hume caused hexavalent chromium, a carcinogen made infamous by environmental activist Erin Brockovich, to leach into groundwater at up to 2430 times the safe limit by 2007.

Jail sentences for 6 guilty of polluting Chinese water supplies

Six men responsible for an illegal chemical discharge that led to water supplies being cut off to 30,000 residents in suburban Shanghai received jail sentences ranging from two to five years in a Shanghai court on Wednesday.

It was the ninth judgment of an environmental pollution case in the municipality since 2010, according to Shanghai High People's Court.

"Three cases of environmental pollution, involving six defendants, were adjudicated from 2010 to 2012, and the number has risen to six cases involving 15 defendants so far this year," said Zou Bihua, vice-president of the court.

Korean Ministry to ease regulation on chemical reporting

The government and ruling party decided Tuesday to loosen a new regulation that requires companies to register chemical substances, in the face of strong backlash from businesses.

During a policy consultation, the Ministry of Environment and the ruling Saenuri Party agreed to exempt chemicals used in small amounts or used for research and development purposes from the requirement, which will come into force in late 2014.

Pesticide maker fined for dumping

Nicotex Thanh Thai Joint Stock Company, which was recently found dumping untreated hazardous chemicals in the central province of Thanh Hoa's Cam Van Commune, received a fine of over VND421 million (US$20,000).

The province People's Committee Vice Chairman Nguyen Duc Quyen said on Wednesday that the committee had decided to punish the pesticide manufacturer for violating environmental protection regulations, causing a bad smell and polluting the surrounding environment.