China's Songhua River (file photo) (AFP)
12 December 2005 -- Russian and Chinese authorities have agreed to jointly monitor the waters of the Amur River for toxic contamination following an explosion at a chemical plant in northeast China last month.
Regional authorities in Russia's Far East city of Khabarovsk today said that an agreement on joint monitoring had already been signed with Chinese officials.
The 13 November explosion poured some 100 tons of toxic chemicals into China's Songhua River, which flows into the Amur.
The toxic spill has been slowly moving from China toward Russia and is now some 100 kilometers away from the Amur, according to officials.
A slick of toxic benzene and other chemicals is moving from China's Songhua River toward the Amur River in Russia's Far East. Russian authorities fear the consequences when the 80-kilometer-long toxic slick reaches the city of Khabarovsk, which relies on the Amur for its water supply.
Officials say supplies of clean water and filtering charcoal are being stockpiled in Khabarovsk. Russian authorities have warned that more than 1 million people living along the Amur could be affected by the contaminants. The spill is the result of an explosion on November 13, 2005, at a Chinese chemical plant in the city of Jilin....(more)
After Chinese Toxic Spill, Russian Environmentalists Raise Concerns About Ecological Policy