Waste disposal and dioxin pollution in Qingpuling Village, Fujian, China

Pollution victims in Fujian Province scored a rare victory over the polluting company after a long-running legal battle. However, not everybody agree on the compensation amount and many migrated out of the village


Description

In August 2014, residents of Qingpuling Village in Fujian Province won a lawsuit against a local waste disposal company after a 5-year-long legal battle [1]. The polluting company, which emitted heavily toxic pollution to the country’s environment, was ordered to pay 6 million yuan ((US$976,626) to villagers in compensation for the damages caused to their health and local eco-system [2].

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Basic Data
NameWaste disposal and dioxin pollution in Qingpuling Village, Fujian, China
CountryChina
ProvinceFujian
SiteFuzhou
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Waste Management
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Landfills, toxic waste treatment, uncontrolled dump sites
Specific CommoditiesDomestic municipal waste
Industrial waste
Project Details and Actors
Project Details40,000 tons annual processing volume of solid waste in the plant
Level of Investment (in USD)24,000,000
Type of PopulationRural
Potential Affected PopulationNearly 600 villagers in Qingpuling [2]
Start Date2009
End Date08/2014
Company Names or State EnterprisesFujian Solid Waste Disposal Company from China
Relevant government actorsQingpuling village officials, Minhou County Officials, Fujian Province officials [4]
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersCenter for Legal Assistance to Pollution Victims
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)LOW (some local organising)
When did the mobilization beginMobilization for reparations once impacts have been felt
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Lawyers
Forms of MobilizationCommunity-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Impacts
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution, Food insecurity (crop damage), Genetic contamination, Soil contamination, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality
Health ImpactsPotential: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Deaths, Other Health impacts
OtherRash, high incidence of cancer [1]
Socio-economic ImpactsPotential: Loss of livelihood
Outcome
Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCompensation
Court decision (victory for environmental justice)
Migration/displacement
Do you consider this as a success?Yes
Why? Explain briefly.Some experts considered this case as a rare victory achieved by environmental victims in China [4]. However, Liu, one of the plaintiff lawyers noted that it is not a complete victory as the villagers had yet to be paid and no concrete link between the pollution and the villagers’ illness had been established [1].

Besides, villagers were not satisfied with the result despite the large amount of compensation. For nearly 600 villagers who had suffered the pollution for more than 10 years, each of them could only get a mere of 6000 yuan for their loss [2].
Sources and Materials
Legislations

Clause 124 of the General Provisions of Civil Law: Any person who pollutes the environment and causes damage to others in violation of state provisions for environmental protection and the prevention of pollution shall bear civil liability in accordance with the law.
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Links

[1] Chinese 'cancer village' scores rare victory over polluters
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[2] Villagers unhappy with toxic plant compensation
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[4] 福建394名村民告赢“放毒公司”,受二噁英等污染获赔600万 (394 villagers in Fujian Province won lawsuit against polluting company and would receive a compensation of 6 million yuan.)
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[3] 福建村庄受二恶英污染达10年 部分村民患癌症 (Suffering dioxin pollution for ten years, some villagers in Fujian were diagnosed with cancer.)
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Other Documents

The poor incineration facility in the factory Source: http://www.thepaper.cn/newsDetail_forward_1263670
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Meta Information
ContributorOxford China Environment, Health and Welfare Research Group
Last update20/08/2015
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