China raises pollution charges around Taihu lake

An increase in pollution charges will force more than 1,000 chemical plants on the shores of east China's Taihu lake to close,  reports said, six months after an outbreak of algae bloom cut off water supplies to a nearby city.

In late May and early June, China’s third biggest lake was covered in a thick foul-smelling canopy of green algae that left tap water undrinkable for more than 2.3 million residents of Wuxi city.

From next year, plants around the lake will have to pay 10.5 yuan (US$1.4) for the discharge of each kilogram of chemical oxygen demand (COD), a measure for pollution, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Monday.

"The high prices will force polluting companies to upgrade their treatment facilities and reduce waste," the report quoted agency Deputy Director Zhu Teijun as saying, adding they would force the closure of more than 1,000 small chemical plants.

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