In today's podcast, communities along the Yellow River valley wonder when a line in the sand will be drawn over toxic fumes spewing from mining dump sites.
Groggy with steady wafts of noxious fumes, many residents in villages dotted along the Tengger Desert have made complaints about the health risks associated with pollution in nearby waste water ponds.
A report first made by Beijing News raised the issue possible environmental violations committed by the mining companies that built the ponds.
In October, President Xi Jinping signed a document that ordered local government officials in areas with factory-waste evaporation ponds to protect the environment and if necessary launch clean-up campaigns.
While ponds near the Tengger Desert were closed and filled following central government mandates, a Caixin investigation has found that some 100 evaporation pond sites across northwest China continue to effectively be used as dumping sites.
Pollution monitoring of drinking water in nearby sites has given major cause for concern.
A 2013 study by the All-China Environment Federation, found excessive levels of phenol, sulfides and bacteria in drinking wells near the Tengger Industrial Park.
For Caixin Online, this is Diana Bates.