Chuangyuan aluminium plant pollution in Hunan, China


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.

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Basic Data
NameChuangyuan aluminium plant pollution in Hunan, China
SiteTaoyuan county
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Industrial and Utilities conflicts
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Landfills, toxic waste treatment, uncontrolled dump sites
Mineral processing
Metal refineries
Specific CommoditiesAluminum/Bauxite
Project Details and Actors
Project Area (in hectares)163
Type of PopulationRural
Potential Affected Population10 deaths recorded
Start Date12/06/2014
Company Names or State EnterprisesHunan Chuangyuan Aluminium Co Ltd from China
Relevant government actorsTaoyuan county officials, the Environmental Protection Department of Hunan
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)LOW (some local organising)
When did the mobilization beginIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups MobilizingLocal government/political parties
Forms of MobilizationMedia based activism/alternative media
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil contamination, Waste overflow, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover
Health ImpactsVisible: Deaths, Other Health impacts
Potential: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Occupational disease and accidents
Other10 cancer-related deaths reported
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Loss of livelihood, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Violations of human rights, Other socio-economic impacts
Othercrop damage
Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseInstitutional changes
Application of existing regulations
Do you consider this as a success?Not Sure
Why? Explain briefly.While the local government has responded swiftly to the media activism surrounding the pollution incident, it is unclear whether concrete steps have been taken to restore the environment in Taoyuan and to reduce the villagers' exposure to health and socio-economic risks.
Sources and Materials

[1] 湖南桃源铝厂污染事件舆情分析 (Hunan Taoyuan Aluminium pollution incident analysis)
[click to view]

[2] Environmental authorities probe central China pollution
[click to view]

[3] Chinese government investigates 'cancer village' pollution case
[click to view]

[4] 桃源污染续:环保厅已责令整改 (Taoyuan pollution update: Environmental improvements mandated by Environmental Protection Department)
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorEJOLT team at School of Geography and China Centre, University of Oxford
Last update06/04/2015