Zhenhai has been suffering from severe air pollution for long time mainly caused by Ningbo Petro-Chemical Economic and Technical Development Zone built on its eastern coast, which is the base of nearly 200 chemical plants including Zhenhai Refining and Chemical Corporation(ZRCC),a subsidiary of Sinopec and the largest oil refinery in China, LG-Yongxing, the largest ABS plastic producer in China and Zhenhai Port Liquid Chemical Dock, the largest liquid chemical dock in China. In September, 2007, 400 tones of acrylonitrile leaked in LG-Yongxing and then polluted air and underground water around adjacent areas. In late April, 2012, 3 million bees died in an orchard in Xiepu Town next to the Petro-Chemical Zone because of pollutants discharged by a chemical plant. Researches shown that mortality ratio of cancer in Zhenhai has risen significantly from 2007 to 2009.
From May 16 to 17, 2002, residents in Zhenhai launched protests against environmental degradation caused by the chemical industry,and they blocked the district's traffic on main streets. In October, 2012, anger people staged demonstrations against a giant petro-chemical project scheduled by ZRCC and clashed with the police.The 50 billion yuan ($8 billion) investment integrated project,according to some people,will affect more than 9800 households. Many argue that the environment in Zhenhai has been tremendously overloaded and the new project to be built will bring even more harm to the ecosystem.