The Pinghu plaintiff requested that the court make a judgment of compensation for RMB541,000 ($85,000) in economic losses for environmental pollution as well as the litigation costs.

The complainant said from September to October 2010, 5000 tons of sludge was dumped into a pool near the drinking water source for Pinghu city by the company Luyi, who was put in charge of treatment of the sludge from four local tanneries.  

The court said that the Luyi Company does not have an authorised license or capability to handle hazardous waste and that their dumping violated the law of Solid Waste Pollution Prevention and the regulations on the Prevention and Control of Water Pollution. The pollution is reported to have caused severe damage to environment.

As both the plaintiff and defendants were all willing to negotiate an out-of-court settlement the court agreed and did not make a final verdict on November 30.

Pinghu city is located close to the Eastern coast of China. It is located near the Hangjiahu plain, which is the northeast section of Zhejiang Province, with Shanghai in the north and Hangzhou Bay in the south.