From Polluter to Model Farmer: The Hog Waste on Radish Hill


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By Xin Hao, Ding Fan, and Mei Xiu of Qiantang River Waterkeeper

Mr. Dong, a staffer of Qiantang River Waterkeeper, typically works around the clock patrolling a river in Gaojia Town, Qujiang District, Quzhou City, China. May 1st of last year, however, was not a typical day for him. He was patrolling the river with two other environmental observers, Yunlong Yang and Shiliang Li, when they passed a hillside dubbed “Radish Hill” that housed 26 pig houses for Xixi Farm. To the right of the livestock, just below a sewage treatment pool under construction, a stream of muddy wastewater with an unpleasant odor flowed along Radish Hill into an irrigation canal, saturating adjacent farmland with pig waste.

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According to local villagers, the draining of animal sewage into nearby farmland had been common practice by Xixi Farm for nearly two years. Mr. Dong immediately contacted Qiantang River Waterkeeper’s longtime partner ‘Focus Today,’ a Zhejiang television program, to cover the story and bring awareness to the issue. A film crew was scheduled to investigate the site within the week.

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On May 17th, the Xixi hog farm segment aired. News that a local farm was polluting neighboring farmland and waterways spread quickly, soon reaching the secretary of Zhejiang Provincial party, Mr. Baolong Xia. Within two days Mr. Xia had investigated the farm himself and declared that livestock farming must not pollute the environment. He emphasized the need to operate with a proper Environmental Impact Assessment and encouraged a rapid upgrade of livestock operations.

Under the guidance of various governmental departments, Xixi Farm became a model ecological farm within a month, earning the praise of Mr. Xia. The owner of Xixi Farm acknowledged that substandard sewage management caused pollution, and that proper treatment of sewage would benefit him, neighboring farms, and the nation. Mr. Dong was proud of the positive change he and Qiantang River Waterkeeper brought to his hometown of Quzhou.

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In Zhejiang Province there are many stories like that of Raddish Hill, largely thanks to Qiantang River Waterkeeper’s training of citizens in environmental protection and water safety. In June 2016, Qiantang River Waterkeeper received continued support from the Alibaba Public Welfare Foundation to continue the ‘Clean Source Action’ project undertaken by the Zhejiang Environmental Observation program.

The ‘Clean Source Action’ project hosts round table meetings with partners to explore solutions to local water pollution issues. It invites individuals from environmental protection departments and civil organizations that are often on the first line of action to train the public, especially young people, on environmental inspection skills. There are now over 170 environmental observers joining Qiantang River Waterkeeper in their efforts towards clean water. A mobile app called “smart-river” was even designed to help solve river issues. Thanks to the app, 91 pollution cases were resolved, including Xinnan Lake’s acid water case, illegal discharge of wastewater by an industrial park, and dumping of waste near coastlines.

Environmental observers have provided nearly 100 pieces of evidence to provincial and municipal news media showing the true strength of a grassroots movement. This citizen engagement has gotten government’s attention, and many regional leaders have shown their support for Qiantang River Waterkeeper.

Photos by Dong Zheng, Green Zhejiang

 

从污染者到典型养猪场: ‘萝卜山背’ 的猪排泄物

作者:忻皓,丁釩,梅雪

这一天,2016年5月1日,钱塘江护水者的成员老董记得很清楚,因为这一天是劳动节,但他一直记得这一天是另有它因。在这一天,他和钱塘江护水者在衢州招募的环境观察员杨云龙、李士良一如既往夜以继日地巡河。而也就在这一天,他们在衢州市衢江区高家镇上溪村一个土名叫“萝卜山背”的山坡上发现了西溪养殖场的26个猪舍,在这个养殖区东侧一处正在建造的污水处理池下方,他们发现有非常浑浊的废水顺着山体排入一条灌溉渠,而且散发着难闻的臭味,导致渠道内附近的农田已被混杂着生猪排泄物的污水覆盖。

据当地村民介绍,这家养殖场出现废水直排现象已经有两年的时间了。老董当天就联系了跟钱塘江护水者一直有紧密合作的浙江卫视《今日聚焦》,并安排于5月6日进行现场采访。

5月17日,这个未经环评的西溪养猪场被曝光,得到了大家的广泛关注,也受到了浙江省委书记夏宝龙的关注。两天之后,夏书记就来到这个养猪场调研,强调:养猪决不能污染环境,畜牧业必须加快转型升级。在各部门的高度关注和推动下,一个月之后,夏宝龙书记再赴衢州时,当地对养猪场的生态改造已经成为了典型,频频获赞。养殖场的负责人也认识到不合格的污水处置会对环境造成污染,而恰当的处理方式反而对他也有好处,也有利于附近的养殖场,也有利于整个国家。老董觉得,身为衢州人,能够推动这样的改变,让他自己觉得当时做得很值。

在浙江省,特别是在钱塘江护水者的引领下,有很多像老董一样的环境观察员在为环境保护和水质安全不断地奉献自己的力量。2016年6月,钱塘江护水者再次获得阿里巴巴公益基金会支持,继续实施浙江“清源行动”环境观察项目。

“清源行动”项目同时主办了利益相关方共同讨论解决水污染治理问题的圆桌会。会议上也邀请环保部门和民间组织中的一线环境监督人员为公众,特别是青年,进行环境监督培训。通过对治水力度的加大,现在钱塘江护水者环境观察员已经达到170余名。他们也开发“微河长”手机应用来帮助解决河水污染问题,目前已经通过这个应用成功解决衢州元立公司工业炉渣强酸性水污染信安湖、武义县桐琴工业园区武文新华日用五金配件厂夜间偷排强酸性水污染武义江、临海河岸垃圾倾倒等91起污染事件。

目前钱塘江护水者们已经通过举报为省市新闻媒体提供环境污染线索近百条,结案率100%。这些行动引起了省市多地党政一把手密切关注,并表示了对钱塘江护水者的大力支持


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