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Waste incineration project in Jiujiang, Jiangxi, China


Description:

Chaisang District, formerly known as Jiujiang County until 2017[1], is a district of the prefectural city of Jiujiang in Jiangxi Province. It has non-contiguous land area, with a smaller exclave to the northeast being separated by Lianxi District and Xunyang District.

On September 7, 2017, a coordination meeting was held to study and determine the site for the new waste-to-energy incineration project to deal with domestic wastes and requested the Land and Resources Bureaus in the Chaisang district and the Jiujiang City to report to the provincial bureau to get the approval for the land use as soon as possible. Later in November, the Jiujiang Planning Bureau approved the site location. According to the first announcement of the “public participation in environmental impact assessment of Jiujiang Municipal Waste-to-Energy Power Generation Project” (It was later reported that the EIA was actually not done before the construction started [2]), published on November 22, 2017 by the Chaisang District Government, the construction unit is the Jiujiang Urban Administration Bureau, the daily waste treatment capacity is 1,500 tons, with CNY 879 million investment and the site will be located in the Chihu Industrial Park. [3]

Land expropriation for the project started in January 2018, when 268 mu (about 17.87ha) of paddy fields were required in the name of “major construction projects”. The processed got stuck as local people refused to sign the expropriation documents, more than 1,000 of the villagers pressed their fingerprint as refusal to the project. [4] However, on the 2nd of March, some construction facilities as well as some billboards of Everbright International were set up on the embank of Chihu Lake, which is 5 km away from the announced site and the coordinates – Chihu Industrial Park. Local residents from Liucang Village asked the project developers to provide legally approved documents (like EIA and official approval docs.) for the construction and tried to stop it. One woman was hurt by an official during the prevention. Some volunteers from ENGOs visited the village on April 3rd to know more about the case, but were questioned by the police. [5] 

On April 4th, the Jiujiang Municipal Government announced the ground break for the first batch of the Major Construction Projects in 2018 on their website, and confirmed that the Waste-to-Energy project would be invested and built by China Everbright International Co. Ltd with a total investment of CNY 1 billion. The occupied area will be 300 mu and the daily waste treatment capacity 1,500 tons. [6] Volunteers from ENGOs tried again to confirm with the Hong Kong Headquarter of Everbright International for some more information about this project and asked them to stop the illegal construction works, but they didn’t get any answers. They continued to communicate with both the company but also the Land and Resources Bureau in Jiujiang to help the villagers to understand the procedure of the project when they found it was not legal. [2] On April 15th, when the construction team started the earthworks to fill the paddy fields, it was stopped again by the villagers. Local police force was dispatched, but no clashes occurred. However, 3 days later, when the village tried to stop the earth filling and the installation of surveillance cameras on the construction site, small-scale clashes occurred and one villager was taken away with the call of “damaging properties” and detained for 15 days. Local residents/villagers went to the Township government of Gangkoujie with banners to protest against the waste incineration project as well as the detention of the fellow villager, but 11 more people were taken away including 6 women for either 10 or 15 days of detention. [5]

On April 23rd, in a reply document to the Jiujiang Land and Resources Bureau, the Chaisang Land and Resources Bureau said: “land for the Waste-to-Energy project was unused land, no procedure for the conversion to agricultural use were reported”, however, local villagers claimed that it was paddy field which was farmed for many years and generations. On April 26th, the second announcement of the “public participation in environmental impact assessment of Jiujiang Municipal Waste-to-Energy Power Generation Project” was published on the Jiujiang Municipal government website. The site of the project became consistent with the actual construction location but was still indicted as in the Chihu Industrial Park, which was actually not according to the confirmation from the Department of Land and Resource of Jiangxi Province on July 9th. At the same time, the response from the Department of Land and Resource of Jiangxi Province indicated that “the approval information of land use of this project does not exist.” [7] While on May 24th, in a phone communication between the villagers and the Jiujiang Municipal Bureau of Land and Resources, the land for the waste incineration project was claimed as “coastal wetland” instead of farming land which is for rice cultivation. [5]

Local villagers were quite angry about the project, they also claimed that the site is too close to the habitat for migratory birds around Chihu Lake, and it’s located in the drinking water source protection area according to the remote sensing data provided by the Research Institute on Environment Protection in Jiangxi Province. [8] When local residents knew that the central environmental protection inspection team would arrive in Jiangxi in June 2018, they started to send petition letters and make complaint calls about the waste incineration to the team, and they also exposed the information about the issue on their personal Weibo and WeChat accounts, but one of them were detained for 15 days in June in the name of spreading “rumors”. The Jiujiang Municipal Government realised there were some petitions and resistances to the project, but their decision was to control the public voices and to push the project forward. [5]

Many small clashes occurred on the site. Since April 15th, villagers got united and started to camp in the paddy fields to stop the construction work and protect their land. Simple houses and stoves were established in the site, there are more than 20 people coming to look after the facilities, while 5 elderly men were on duty at night to stop any further actions on construction. Wearing uniform white T-shirts with a flapping bird and slogans such as “protecting our home”, “protecting the habitat for migratory birds, protecting the green home”, the protesters have insisted to protect their land for nearly 6 months through the hot summer and in a very tough environment. They felt that “it’s worthy to do something for the future generations”. [4]

The conflict is continuing in the field. In mid-August, the Jiangsu Academy of Environmental Sciences recommended, through a phone communication, to Everbright International to select an alternative site. This may be good news for all villagers in Liucang Village, but before the official announcement of the new site, they dare not easily withdraw from the "battle field". [4] 

Basic Data

Name of conflict:Waste incineration project in Jiujiang, Jiangxi, China
Country:China
State or province:Jiangxi
Location of conflict:Liucang Village, Gangkoujie Town, Chaisang District, Jiujiang City (Prefecture-level)
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)

Source of Conflict

Type of conflict. 1st level:Waste Management
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Land acquisition conflicts
Wetlands and coastal zone management
Incinerators
Specific commodities:Domestic municipal waste
Electricity
Land

Project Details and Actors

Project details

The Jiujiang Waste-to-Energy project would be invested and built by China Everbright International Co. Ltd with a total investment of CNY 1 billion. The occupied area would be 300mu (268 mu in Liucang Village). The daily waste treatment capacity would be 1,500 tons. [6]

300,000 is about the population of Chaisang district (formerly Jiujiang County).

Project area:17.87
Level of Investment:ca. 132,845,678 USD
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:300,000 is the population of Chaisang district
Start of the conflict:07/09/2017
Company names or state enterprises:China Everbright International Co, Ltd. from China
Relevant government actors:-Jiujiang municipal government
-Research Institute on Environment Protection in Jiangxi Province
-Land and Resources Bureaus of Chaisang District
-Land and Resources Bureaus of Jiujiang City
-Jiujiang Planning Bureau
-Chaisang District Government
-Department of Land and Resource of Jiangxi Province
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:-Jiangsu Academy of Environmental Sciences
-Zhao Zhangyuan, researcher from Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences. 2018年8月9日,中国环境科学研究院研究员赵章元老师及其夫人林老师(北京大学教授)冒着酷暑,不辞辛劳莅临江西九江赤湖。之前,赵老师从网上了解到赤湖要建垃圾焚烧厂的信息,也非常关心。此次,赵老师在结束千岛湖私人行程后,由“千岛湖环保义士”之称的吴小龙先生亲自护送至赤湖。周边几百位村民围拢在赤湖大堤现场,赵老师讲解了垃圾焚烧所带来的不可避免的污染排放问题。并特别指出一级致癌物——“二噁英“的积累,当其达到一定量时,对身体危害是不可避免的!

Conflict & Mobilization

IntensityLOW (some local organising)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Local ejos
Landless peasants
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Women
Local scientists/professionals
senior citizens
Forms of mobilization:Blockades
Boycotts of official procedures/non-participation in official processes
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Land occupation
Media based activism/alternative media
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Shareholder/financial activism.
Arguments for the rights of mother nature
Refusal of compensation

Impacts

Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Waste overflow, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity, Other Environmental impacts
Other Environmental impactsdioxin emissions; impact on the habitat of migratory birds.
Health ImpactsPotential: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Other environmental related diseases
Other Health impactscancers and other diseases due to exposure to dioxin.
Socio-economical ImpactsPotential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place

Outcome

Project StatusUnder construction
Conflict outcome / response:Criminalization of activists
Under negotiation
New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
Development of alternatives:-The Jiangsu Academy of Environmental Sciences recommended to Everbright International to select an alternative site.
-The local residents proposed to start with waste sorting and recycling instead of the construction of incineration plant.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:The conflict is continuing in the field and there is no further official statements on the project.

Sources & Materials

Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

[3] 江西九江生活垃圾发电项目环境影响评价公众参与第一次公示 (accessed on 2018-07-20)
http://www.shejis.com/gcxms/201711/article_21051.html

[1]江西省人民政府关于调整九江市部分行政区划的通知 (accessed on 2018-07-30)
http://xxgk.jiangxi.gov.cn/gddt/zwdt/201708/t20170824_1391530.htm

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

[2] 环评未完成 九江垃圾焚烧项目遇阻 (accessed on 2018-07-20)
http://tech.sina.com.cn/it/2018-04-29/doc-ifzvpatq9211198.shtml

[5] 江西九江:光大国际违法在赤湖建设垃圾焚烧厂大事记 (accessed on 2018-09-30)
https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s?__biz=MzU3NDYwMzUyNw==&mid=2247483860&idx=1&sn=395d2051c6aeb72ca18bc83f3115396a

[6] 九江市2018年第一批重大工业开工项目简介!(accessed on 2018-09-30)
http://www.jiujiang.gov.cn/zwzx/jrjj/201804/t20180404_1884061.htm

[7] 九江垃圾焚烧发电厂违建在江西第五大淡水湖候鸟自然区(accessed on 2018-09-30)
https://www.weibo.com/ttarticle/p/show?id=2309404239104245151765

[4]水田被选址为垃圾焚烧厂村民守163天 官方:是滩涂(accessed on 2018-09-30)
http://news.sina.com.cn/s/2018-09-22/doc-ifxeuwwr7030987.shtml

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

[8] 赤湖“邻避”事件:九江垃圾发电项目选址引争议,或威胁水源地(accessed on 2018-09-30)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZZVq4DZnXA

Other documents

Banners: opposing the waste incineration project
https://file.ejatlas.org/docs/群众拉横幅.jpg

Land investigation
https://file.ejatlas.org/docs/领导视察.jpg

Introduction of the project
https://file.ejatlas.org/docs/项目介绍.jpg

protect our homes
https://file.ejatlas.org/docs/群众反对.jpg

opposing the waste incineration project
https://file.ejatlas.org/docs/群众表明态度.jpg

Project Implementation
https://file.ejatlas.org/docs/项目实施.jpg

Meta information

Contributor:EnvJustice, ICTA-UAB/NWAFU master students
Last update04/10/2018

Images

 

Opposing the waste incineration plant in the paddy fields

 

Project site

 

Introduction of the project

 

Opposing the waste incineration plant

 

Protect Chihu Lake! Protect the Blue Sky!

 

Land investigation