An explosion at a pesticide plant in eastern China's Jiangsu province killed 78 people and injured more than 600. The government has since launched a nationwide inspection into hazardous chemicals, mines, transportation and fire safety. The area's environmental protection bureau has implemented an emergency plan to remove and treat toxic wastewater from a nearby river, with concentrations of harmful chemicals like benzene well past safe limits. The Chinese government vowed to tighten environmental impact assessment approvals for chemical plants and enhance daily inspections. It has also said it will revise the Production Safety Law this year in response to the explosion.
Jiangsu’s provincial government also have plans to close thousands of chemical production sites and chemical parks over the next three years.
- chemical plants
- Chinese goverment
- daily inspections
- Deadly chemical blast
- emergency plan
- environmental impact assessment approvals
- environmental protection bureau
- fire safety
- hazardous chemicals
- Jiangsu province
- pesticide plant
- Production Safety Law
- toxic wastewater
The International Labour Organization launched a commission of inquiry on Wednesday into complaints that Venezuela is violating standards including freedom of association and workers’ rights to organize. The last such ILO investigation involved Zimbabwe in 2008 and there have been only 12 in the past 60 years, including on forced labor under Myanmar’s military junta.
Brazil’s President has signed the new Forest Code into law. The Code dictates how much of their forest farmers and companies must leave intact. However, critics counter that it reduces the actual amount of forest preserved by extending the scope to river margins and steep hillsides. To comply with the Code some landowners who have previously cleared land in excess of the new limits will have to reforest an area of land totalling the size of Italy. Whether enforcement will be effective and successful is open to question. The main tool to support compliance will be a registry to which landowners must detail their compliance with the Code to remain eligible for state credit and support. The farm lobby says it may challenge the final version of the Code in court.
Production at the mill, which has a capacity of 240,000 tonnes, is being suspended indefinitely as of September 16th 2012 due to low price levels in the pulp market. Most of the pulp at the mill is shipped to Asia.
The company formerly known as AbitibiBowater has reported a 23% drop in its quarterly profit. It is currently involved in a takeover bid for rival pulp producer Fibrek. There was a major operating loss in its pulp segment with the average transaction price almost halved in the last year from $74 per metric ton to $38 per metric ton.