Diesel Leak in China's Yellow River Threatens Drinking Water

BEIJING, Jan. 5 (UPI) — Diesel fuel leaking from a broken oil pipeline into a Yellow River tributary in China has spread, threatening drinking water sources, officials said Tuesday.

The fuel leak has spread downstream into Shanxi and Henan provinces, contaminating it and potentially affecting the drinking water supply of many local residents, the China Daily reported.

Despite earlier efforts to prevent the spread, the leak had reached the Sanmenxia reservoir on the Yellow River in Henan province, the report said. Authorities have stopped generating electricity from the reservoir and dammed up the river to prevent further pollution.

Environmental Protection Vice Minister China Zhang Lijun has ordered all-out efforts to stop the leak from spreading to the Xiaolangdi reservoir, about 100 miles downstream, which provides drinking water to the heavily populated cities of Kaigeng and Zhengzhou in Henan province, the report said.

Nearly 40,000 gallons of diesel reportedly leaked into the Wei River in Shaanxi province last week after a construction accident ruptured a pipeline, which transports fuel from the China’s northwest to its central regions. The pipeline was subsequently shut down.

Copyright 2010 by United Press International

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