Zhejiang’s public security department made clear it unyielding stance on violations of environmental regulations with the announcement that it had concluded its milestone legal proceedings and investigations into two of Zhejiang’s largest glyphosate manufacturers(see ChemLinked's News Release on June 26 2012). Zhejiang’s provincial government laid down a clear zero tolerance marker with the announcement that some 62 people involved in the case have been transferred into police custody to face criminal prosecution. Highlighting the fact that nobody remains above the law, high level executives including both Jinfanda’s president and vice general manager and Wynca’s HSE manager are all to face prosecution. The case itself has had a high level of media coverage and public interest largely due to unprecedented level of corruption and the serious environmental and social impact these environmental violations have had.
Jinfanda was found to have used one of its subsidiary located in Tonglu County (Hangzhou) to intentionally circumvent regulations as far back as November 2011. This subsidiary was shown to have hired four unauthorized chemical storage and transporting companies to illicitly discharge glyphosate wastewater. The cost of operations ranged from 60 to 120 Yuan per ton of glyphosate discharged totaling some 38,000 tons of the wastewater illicitly discharged into rivers, farmland and wells in Qvzhou, Xiaoshan, Fuyang, Deqing and Shanghai.
Police also verified that Wynca’s subsidiary in Jiande discharged glyphosate wastewater through two chemical warehousing and transporting companies, Rongsheng Chemical and Hong’an Transporting. Hong’an transported more than 10,000 tons of Wynca’s “phosphate mixtures” to Rongsheng at a price of 500 Yuan per ton. Rongsheng subsequently dumped 7,500 tons of the mixtures into the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand canal. Hong’an was also individually responsible for transportation and dumping of approximately 10,000 tons of the mixtures to Shandong, Jiangxi and Qvzhou. Later analysis showed that the mixture was wastewater generated through glyphosate production, which is included into China’s “National Catalogue of Hazardous Wastes”.
The influence of these actions on the price of glyphosate is difficult to ascertain but interestingly on December 10 2013, the price of glyphosate was 31,000 Yuan per ton, which represented the first increase in almost 3 months.
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