NE China rail construction halted over environmental violations

The Ministry of Environmental Protection has brought construction on a railway in northeast China’s Heilongjiang province to a halt due to environmental violations, local authorities said Friday.

Further inspections will be conducted for the Harbin-Qiqihar passenger railway (哈齐铁路客运专线), the Heilongjiang provincial environmental protection bureau said.

Construction on the railway has violated several parts of the Environmental Impact Assessment Law, with some areas under construction lacking proper impact assessment approval, according to the bureau’s investigation.

Several construction sites have been moved without authorization, threatening the Zhalong Sate Nature Reserve, a major habitat for cranes, according to the investigation.

The ministry has asked the builders to submit all environmental impact assessment paperwork before Aug. 1.

Construction on the 286-km-long railway began on July 5, 2009.