396 villagers win pollution lawsuit against waste firm in Fujian

Updated: 28 Aug 2014
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After a four-year trial, 396 villagers from Minhou, Fujian province finally won a lawsuit against a waste management firm releasing pollution in the area. 
Puling villagers received their second verdict from the Fuzhou Intermediate People’s Court regarding their litigation against Fujian Solid Waste Disposal Co., LTD, which they said illegally released poisonous pollutants into the community. To compensate for food loss and human injury, the company was ordered to pay around 6,000,000 RMB in compensation.
The company, established in 2000, handled medical waste from Fuzhou and nearby areas. With its remote location, insufficient facilities and improper monitoring, the company frequently released contaminants into the air. 
Villagers started worrying about the effects of the gas as a number of people suffering abnormal diseases began rising. Dioxin was categorized as the most dangerous carcinogen released.
The court confirmed that the incinerators of the firm released harmful dioxin gas, and the company was charged for its poisonous emissions. 
From May 2009 to January 2010, eight villagers died from cancer. Three of them had passed away in very close time proximity, and they lived opposite of the company’s outpour.
The Minhou Environmental Bureau requested on-site checking and the installation of an online monitoring system, yet they received no reply. The bureau sent warnings for years, but saw no improvement.
In 2010, the National Environmental Bureau issued a notification regarding the company's illegal actions and the villagers received judicial help from the government to sue the company and compensate their losses from over 10 year's time.
In November 2013, the court ordered the company to pay 6,000,000 RMB in compensation but the company appealed it. The villagers finally won the lawsuit this week with the second verdict.
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