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The consequences of the contamination of the Amur river by benzene and other harmful substances have not been fully overcome up to date
The consequences of the contamination of the Amur river by benzene and other harmful substances after an explosion at a chemical factory in the Chinese province of Jilin "have not been fully overcome up to date," deputy head of the government of Russia's Khabarovsk territory Alexander Levintal told reporters on Monday. After the passage of the benzene spill downstream the Amur river, from the mouth of the Sungari /Songhua river/ to the Tatar Strait, chemicals partly "deposited in the ground and will inevitably get into water in the period of summer-autumn full water," Levintal said. In addition, one has to evaluate the degree of their negative influence on biological resources of the Amur, fauna and flora. "China, too, is concerned over the ecological situation in the basins of the Sungari and the Amur," he went on to say. In accordance with a bilateral agreement, joint research involving water and ground sampling will be carried out. "We are carrying out work in line with a program of monitoring, involving scientists of the Institute of Water and Ecological Problems Under the far eastern branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, other research institutes, and specialists from a number of departments," the official said. Explosions or accidents at Chinese companies however, do not pose the main threat to the Amur's environment. The greatest danger comes from continuous large waste discharges into the Sungari by the Chinese, Levintal said. Some 100 Chinese firms are located in the Sungari basin, which practically do not carry out waste water treatment.
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