photo from Greenpeace UK (Flickr Creative Commons)

Friday’s oil pipeline explosion in the northern Chinese port of Dalian has resulted in a large oil slick in the Yellow Sea. The oil leaking from the two exploded pipelines has been stopped, but not before oil washed up on the coastline, soiling surrounding beaches and negatively impacting local wildlife and economic activity.

Thousands of firefighters, engineers and even a flotilla of 800 fishing boats are involved in cleanup operations which have already reduced the oil slick by a third from its peak of 50 sq km, according to a report in the Guardian.

The leak is likely to add to persistent calls for tighter environmental regulation in China. The need for improved standards was also highlighted by a toxic spill from a copper mine in Fujian month that poisoned a major river, killed countless fish and threatened the drinking supplies of downstream communities.


A BBC News report on the situation in the Dalian area paints a grimmer picture, stating that an area of 430 sq km is polluted from the spill and that annual fishing in the region may be ruined this year.

Though the spill is small when compared to the BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, according to Greenpeace, it is China’s worst in recent memory.

One firefighter lost his life during cleanup efforts.

For more on the story see the following report by the Associated Press:

AP – Growing China oil spill threatens sea life, water

Additional resources:

Guardian – In pictures: China tries to stop Yellow Sea oil slick

Greenpeace China – Greenpeace expresses condolences to sacrificed Dalian firefighter

About The Author: Graham Land

Greenfudge editor and London-based writer Graham Land grew up in the suburbs of Washington, DC, where he was part of the local hardcore punk scene, playing in several bands. Through this musical movement he became involved in grass roots interests such as anti-racist activism, animal rights and Ecology. In 2000 he relocated to Europe, eventually earning an MA from Malmö University in Sweden. He has also lived in Japan, Ireland, Portugal and Greece.


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