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Shaanxi Dongling (Lead and Zinc) Smelting Co., Fengxiang, China

In August 2009, villagers of Fengxiang County, Shaanxi Province protested the lead poisoning of more than 600 children by Dongling Smelting Co.


Fengxiang County is administered by Baoji City in the west of Shaanxi province, with a population of 510,000. Changqing was the poorest town in Fengxiang County before 1995. But after the Dongling Smelting Company and the Baoji Second Electric Power Plant [1] started production, it became the richest. Dongling Smelting Company pays 20 million yuan (US$2.9 million) in taxes each year, contributing 17 percent of the county's annual fiscal revenue by 2009. [2]

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Shaanxi Dongling (Lead and Zinc) Smelting Co., Fengxiang, China
State or province:Shaanxi
Location of conflict:mainly in Madoukou Village and Sunjia‘nantou Village of Changqing Town, Fengxiang County, Baoji City (prefecture-level)
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict: 1st level:Industrial and Utilities conflicts
Type of conflict: 2nd level :Water access rights and entitlements
Land acquisition conflicts
Mineral processing
Metal refineries
Specific commodities:Cadmium
Project Details and Actors
Project details:

Investment: CNY 1.6 billion ~ USD 2.35 million including the lead and zinc smelting plant and the coking plant [26]

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Project area:87
Level of Investment:2,350,000.00
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:approx. 10,000
Start of the conflict:2003
End of the conflict:2009
Company names or state enterprises:Dongling Group from China - Controller of the Dongling Lead and Zinc Smelting Company in Fengxiang county
Shaanxi Dongling Smelting Co., Ltd. from China - polluter
Dongling Zinc Industry Co., Ltd. from China - polluter
Relevant government actors:-Environmental Protection Bureau of Baoji Municipal
-Environmental Protection Bureau of Fengxiang County
-the Government of Fengxiang County
-the Government of Baoji Municipal
-the Administration Committee of Changqing Industrial Park
-Xi'an Institute of Geology and Mineral Resources (later as the Xi'an Branch of China Geological Survey)
-Health Department of Shaanxi Province (changed to the Health Commission of Shaanxi Province)
-Shaanxi Environmental Protection Department (as the Department of Ecology and Environment of Shaanxi Province since March 2018)
- Environmental Monitoring Station of Baoji
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:-Shaanxi Provincial Toxicology Society
Conflict and Mobilization
IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Industrial workers
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of mobilization:Blockades
Boycotts of official procedures/non-participation in official processes
Official complaint letters and petitions
Street protest/marches
Property damage/arson
Hunger strikes and self immolation
Impacts of the project
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Soil contamination, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Waste overflow
Potential: Desertification/Drought, Noise pollution
Health ImpactsVisible: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Violence related health impacts (homicides, rape, etc..), Occupational disease and accidents, Other environmental related diseases, Other Health impacts
Other Health impactsexcessive blood lead; a failed suicide; potential sequela of excessive heavy metals
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Specific impacts on women, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place, Other socio-economic impacts
Potential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures
Other socio-economic impactsforced migration from the unhealthy living environment and increased housing cost;
increased cost for children's education, transportation and care;
increased daily living expenses;
treatments and caring costs except the part paid by the government
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Environmental improvements, rehabilitation/restoration of area
Technical solutions to improve resource supply/quality/distribution
Application of existing regulations
New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
Project temporarily suspended
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:There were series of conflicts and protests along with the smelting and coking plant, from land expropriation to water pollution, and then lead poisoning to people's health, the local residents had to send their children to other places for education and move out from their original residential area due to pollution. The project resumed several months later after the temporal suspension, and there were different kinds of injustices among the villages (like Dongling Village and the other villages in Changqing Township), as well as among different age groups and generation groups, local and migrant groups, etc.
Sources and Materials
Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

[9] 中华人民共和国环境影响评价法 (Environmental Impact Assessment Law of the PRC)
[click to view]

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

[5] 李冠杰. (2012). 重金属污染条件下基层环境监管体制研究. 陕西: 西北农林科技大学博士论文 (PhD thesis in Chinese)
[click to view]

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

[18]陕西宝鸡市政府关于凤翔长青血铅超标事件新闻发布会(accessed on 2019-03-26)
[click to view]

[1] It belongs to China Guodian Corporation, which is one of the five largest power producers in the People's Republic of China, administrated by SASAC for the State Council of the People's Republic of China.
[click to view]

[3] The Beijing News: Story of lead poisoning in Fengxiang, Shaanxi陕西凤翔铅中毒事件始末:政府招商强势征地 (accessed on 2019-03-12)
[click to view]

[4] 一起特大影响的血铅事件如何发生?(accessed on 2019-02-15)
[click to view]

[20] Lead poisoning and health (accessed on 2019-02-25)
[click to view]

[2] Lead poisoning highlights development dilemma (accessed on 2016-08-05)
[click to view]

[8] Southern Metropolis Daily: The relocated peasants after lead poisoning and the resumption of the suspended plant凤翔血铅事件后迁徙的农民:停产工厂已复工 (accessed on 2019-03-12)
[click to view]

[19] Chinese mayor apologizes for lead poisoning (accessed on 2019-02-18)
[click to view]

[6]凤翔血铅超标事件折射西部发展困境(accessed on 2019-02-15)
[click to view]

[7] Southern Weekly 陕西凤翔:731名儿童615人血铅超标 (accessed on 2017-02-15)
[click to view]

[10] 陕西凤翔“血铅”事件调查(accessed on 2016-08-19)
[click to view]

[11]陕西凤翔300个孩子血铅超标疑与当地冶炼厂有关(accessed on 2016-08-19)
[click to view]

[12] Police, security guard China factory after protest(accessed on 2019-02-15)
[click to view]

[13]凤翔血铅超标儿童免费治(accessed on 2019-03-25)
[click to view]

[14] Lead poisoning highlights development dilemma (accessed on 2019-02-25)
[click to view]

[15]凤翔儿童铅中毒:“排污达标”为何“血铅超标” (accessed on 2017-02-15)
[click to view]

[16] Angry villagers stage lead poisoning protest (accessed on 2019-02-25)
[click to view]

[21]永别铅灰家园 凤翔血铅事件中的迁徙农民 (accessed on 2019-03-25)
[click to view]

[22]陕西凤翔血铅事件11人被处分 县委县政府做检查(accessed on 2019-03-26)
[click to view]

[23] 【乡村振兴示范基地候选样板单位】陕西东岭集团:东出天下敢为人先 村企合一勇往直前 (accessed on 2019-02-15)
[click to view]

[26] 陕西东岭集团10万吨ISP铅锌冶炼工程6月1日试产成功 (accessed on 2019-03-26)
[click to view]

[27] Changqing Township 百度百科:长青镇 (accessed on 2019-03-26)
[click to view]

[25]陕西凤翔确认615名儿童血铅超标(组图) (accessed on 2019-03-26)
[click to view]

[17]陕西宝鸡市长就血铅超标事件道歉 承诺关肇事厂(accessed on 2019-03-26)
[click to view]

[24] 户均资产超过150万元 东岭村现象引发思考 (accessed on 2019-03-26)
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

CCTV:陕西凤翔重度铅中毒儿童已入院治疗(accessed on 2019-02-15)
[click to view]

CCTV4:陕西凤翔儿童铅中毒(accessed on 2019-02-15)
[click to view]

Other comments:**Any kinds of citation from the description text of this case should be directly communicated with the EnvJustice team (ERC) and the contributor. **
Meta information
Contributor:EnvJustice, ICTA-UAB
Last update01/04/2019
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