One has to say that such a vast country, with various issues in de different regions, is very hard to govern by a central government. If one would compare it with Europe the difference between the rural regions and the industrial regions is already huge. Where rural areas rely on landfilling and industrialized regions rely on treatment options.

Same as in Europe China tries to save the hazardous waste landfill capacity for hazardous wastes. The quantities of contaminated soils that might come for huge remediation projects might fill up one landfill all at once. Therefore China has turned to ciment plants as treatment option. The ciment producing lobby has for decades promoted the co-processing of contaminated soils. Only they have never really considered the real treatment issue and the quantities that might arise some day. While a limited amount of facilities are licensed in China. The processing capacity and storage facilities are not build to cope with China’s huge former industrial sites. This leaves local officials with limited options.

Although some of the pressures to move the real estate development of industrial sites might have eased of the last years, the complexity of soil investigations and remediations solutions are sometimes too much of a hurdle. The pressure to advance projects, make all parties resort to ‘cutting corners’. This is not a problem only limited to China or even Asian. Local governments tend to be blindsided when it comes to the complexities of contaminated land issue and the real cost and time tangible remediation solutions require.

As everywhere in the world the policies are but as as strong as the agencies and people implementing them. The overall lack of capacity either in treatment of landfilling, make that creativity needs to be use to find appropriate solutions to safely move projects forward.


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