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Chinese lawmakers weigh new law on soil pollution

Xinhua | Updated: 2018-08-28 09:42

Chinese lawmakers on Monday began reviewing a draft law on soil pollution prevention and control, as the country has escalated its fight against pollution.

The draft law was submitted to the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress (NPC) for the third reading at a session that runs from Monday to Friday.

There will be national standards for soil pollution risk control, and a nationwide soil condition census should be conducted at least once every ten years, according to the draft.

A network of monitoring stations are required to be established nationwide with data and other information collected shared among environmental, agricultural, natural resources, housing, water resources, health, and forestry and grassland authorities, it said.

Environmental and health authorities of the State Council are required to conduct screening and evaluation of toxic and harmful substances in the soil and make public a list of them.

According to the draft law, the central and provincial-level governments should establish funds to prevent and control soil pollution.

The draft law on prevention and control of soil pollution was submitted to the top legislature for its first reading in June.

China is escalating its fight against pollution. The top legislature revised the law on air pollution in 2015 and the law on water pollution in 2017, restricting various sources of pollution and making environmental data more transparent.

Currently, there is no dedicated law on soil pollution, just a handful of provisions scattered across other laws. The draft law under deliberation is expected to address this legal void.

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