On 6 December 2014, Beijing News exposed the environmental and health damages caused by illegal pollution from the Chuangyuan Aluminium plant in Taoyuan county, Hunan.
Chinese social media began circulating the news that ten villagers had died in Taoyuan from cancer caused by improper waste treatment following industrial production  when highly toxic fluoride runoff seeped into the Yuan river, a tributary of the Yangtze and was used as irrigation water.
By 8 December, Taoyuan county officials had arranged for an emergency meeting to address the issue, forming working groups amongst environmental, health, agriculture and water management departments to monitor the situation. The Environmental Protection Department of Hunan province also began investigating the matter, following other critical reportage from Beijing News and other Chinese media (ibid).
Online photos of the leakage showed red-colored water seeping through solid waste into the Yuanjiang River, a local waterway used for crop irrigation . Local villagers who used the contaminated water for irrigation complained that our "vegetables cannot grow and rice production has seen significant decrease" (ibid). Beijing News also noted that "the environment [in Taoyuan] was once very beautiful...in 2001, the [aluminium] factory began production, taking up 2,450 mu of land (nearly 230 football pitches), and the high pollution gave [Taoyuan] a trauma that will be difficult to recover from" .
The Taoyuan county government posted on its official website following the uproar on national and foreign social media that it “attaches great importance to the media reports about the pollution, [urging] the leaders of relevant departments to rapidly convene a meeting” and “research the topic” of the pollution allegations. Another government statement posted shortly thereafter, said that "[the plant] has problems in disposing solid waste” (ibid).
Following its initial investigation, the Environmental Protection Department of Hunan has ordered the Chuangyuan Aluminium plant to relocate and safely dispose of any waste materials, and has ordered fines to be levied unless significant changes are made. It has also ordered the Taoyuan county officials to relocate villagers living within the vicinity of the polluted area, and to deliver a public proposal on its relocation plans within a month of the incident . However, it is unclear as to whether these mandates have been implemented, and to what extent they have been successful.