The Korea Herald


Soil contamination near smelter serious: environmental group

By KH디지털2

Published : Oct. 23, 2014 - 16:37

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An environmental group on Thursday called for a thorough probe into soil pollution and the health of residents near a smelter in a southeastern county, claiming that the surrounding soil has been seriously polluted by metals from the smelter.

"After conducting an environmental survey together with the Institute for Environmental Survey and Health, we found that the concentrations of cadmium and zinc in soils near the Seokpo Smelter were 4.3-fold and 2.9-fold higher than those near the former Janghang Smelter where the government is directly engaging in purification work," the Korean Federation for Environmental Movement said during a news conference in Seoul.

The Seokpo Smelter run by the Youngpung Co. is located in Bonghwa, 244 kilometers southeast of Seoul.

"Despite this, Youngpung is trying to build the third smelting plant in Seokpo located near the upper stream of Nakdong River and in an water source protection area," the group said.

It raised the need to thoroughly examine damage to the environment and the health of residents and come up with measures to prevent the problem.

Some 40 residents from the neighborhoods near the smelter were to make a protest visit to the head office of Youngpung in southern Seoul in the afternoon. (Yonhap)