A United Nations environmental team is on standby to help both Chinese and Russian authorities, if requested, following the contamination of the Songhua River after a large explosion at a petro-chemical plant in China's Jilin Province earlier this month. The Joint UN Environment Programme (UNEP)/Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Environment Unit said today it was ready to deploy experts to conduct any activities that may be required, including an environmental assessment, or to provide technical support to Government authorities. To date, however, no official request for international help has been received.