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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
Name of conflict:Chuangyuan aluminium plant pollution in Hunan, China
State or province:Hunan
Location of conflict:Taoyuan county
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict: 1st level:Industrial and Utilities conflicts
Type of conflict: 2nd level :Mineral processing
Landfills, toxic waste treatment, uncontrolled dump sites
Metal refineries
Specific commodities:Aluminum/Bauxite
Project Details and Actors
Project details:

Project area:163
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:10 deaths recorded
Start of the conflict:12/06/2014
Company names or state enterprises:Hunan Chuangyuan Aluminium Co Ltd from China
Relevant government actors:Taoyuan county officials, the Environmental Protection Department of Hunan
Conflict and Mobilization
IntensityLOW (some local organising)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Local government/political parties
Forms of mobilization:Media based activism/alternative media
Impacts of the project
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
Other Health impacts10 cancer-related deaths reported
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Loss of livelihood, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Violations of human rights, Other socio-economic impacts
Other socio-economic impactscrop damage
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Institutional changes
Application of existing regulations
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain: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
Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

[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
Contributor:EJOLT team at School of Geography and China Centre, University of Oxford
Last update06/04/2015
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