BEIJING — The authorities have suspended production at a solar panel factory in eastern China following protests by residents who blame the plant for fouling the local air and water, a government Web site said on Monday.
Chinese Protesters Accuse Solar Panel Plant of Pollution (September 19, 2011)
Since last Thursday, the factory, JinkoSolar Holding Company, has drawn hundreds of protesters, some of whom overturned vehicles and ransacked offices inside the plant in Haining city, Zhejiang Province.
At least 23 people have been detained on charges of vandalism and public disorder, including a man accused of “spreading false information” about the impact of pollution from the plant, the Haining city government said on its Web site. Three company employees were among those taken into police custody after they tried to wrest television cameras away from reporters attempting to film the demonstrations.
Villagers have complained about toxic smokestack omissions and factory wastewater they say killed a large number of fish. Government inspectors have confirmed that fluoride contamination was 10 times higher than acceptable levels after heavy rainfall swept improperly stored wastewater into a canal, according to the state-run media.