Twelve officials in Yuxi including vice mayor Chen Zhifeng were fired last week over the recent discovery of heavy arsenic pollution in Yangzonghai Lake, according to Chinese media reports. Another 14 officials from the provincial government were also sacked.
The majority of fired officials were from Yuxi and Yunnan's environmental protection and water departments. Yunnan Chengjiang Jinye Industrial and Trade has been fingered as the main polluter, but several other enterprises around the lake have also been connected to the arsenic pollution.
According to the Shanghai Daily:
An absence of wastewater treatment allowed arsenic to circulate through the company's water systems. The company also did not have anti-seepage treatment and waste filtering into ground water that eventually polluted Yangzonghai Lake
The provincial government is estimating that it will take at least three years to reduce the lake's arsenic contamination to acceptable levels and is seeking international help to address the problem.