Local officials claimed to have inspected the water supply and found nothing amiss, but reports from residents suggest a longer-term pattern of incompetence and denial. According to the article,
Petitions calling for action by the government [to curb water pollution] also went unanswered, said fellow villager Zhou Weixiang, who added: "The factory is said to have contributed a lot to the local tax revenue. We could do nothing about it."
None of this is terribly surprising. Local governments are often blamed for severe lapses in environmental monitoring and enforcement (see previous post). But as one in a string of environmental disasters to hit China in recent months, CGS considers that the Jiangsu incident should persuade Beijing that it is right to be worried about environmental discontent in the Year of the Ox (see previous post).