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Blacksmith Institute Press Release

Blacksmith Institute Launches China Program to Inventory and Clean Up Pollution

NEW YORK, February 1, 2008 -- New York-based environmental action group Blacksmith Institute today announced that it is working to uncover legacy contamination and conduct a comprehensive pollution inventory in China. To facilitate its work with the Chinese authorities, Blacksmith has hired a full-time staff member, Leyan Wang, located in Beijing.

Blacksmith Institute will coordinate its work with local authorities, including the State Environmental Pollution Authority (SEPA). Blacksmith is focusing its initial environmental work on Guangdong province, which has experienced significant and widespread pollution due to the region's rapid industrial growth.

"We are very pleased with the productive relationship we are developing with many authorities in China, and we look forward to taking constructive steps to address the critical issues of pollution in China," said Richard Fuller, founder of Blacksmith Institute. "Our Beijing-based staff will introduce Blacksmith Institute's Polluted Places protocol to China to guide the process of inventorying polluted sites and identifying projects for remediation."

Identifying and Inventorying Polluted Places

Blacksmith Institute's Polluted Places protocols and methodology were devised by experts from academia and business as members of Blacksmith Institute's Technical Advisory Board. The protocols were developed over the course of several years in order to create a set of standards for evaluating and comparing the effects of polluted sites on human health, particularly the health of children. These protocols not only take into account the presence of pollutants, but also the way in which people interact with a site. Sites are rated higher if the pollutants are long-term and if there are dense populations, particularly including children, living or working in close proximity.

About Blacksmith Institute

Blacksmith Institute (www.blacksmithinstitute.org) works around the globe to identify dangerously polluted sites and initiate their clean up, using its Polluted Places methodology to focus efforts on the most productive interventions. For the biggest polluted areas, Blacksmith works with local partners, including environmental authorities, to identify large-scale interventions for potential funding by international agencies. Since 1999 Blacksmith Institute has completed 29 projects in 9 countries and is currently engaged in 42 projects in 12 countries.