China / Society

Govt urged to introduce soil pollution control act

By Zheng Xin ( Updated: 2014-03-11 20:32

The government should come up with a soil pollution control act for better protection of the ever-worsening soil and water conditions in the country, a political adviser said.

Cheng Yuechong, a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and also a member of the China Democratic League, suggested the government come up with a soil pollution control act, to provide legal grounds for soil pollution prevention and remediation.

Violators of such a regulation should be held civilly responsible, he said.

Cheng also suggested routine investigations and monitoring of soil pollution, to be considered with the indicators of performance of local authorities.

People usually only notice soil pollution when it is very serious, and the cost for restoration and remediation by then is very high, he said.

Many enterprises that have caused soil contamination have been suspended or shut down, which makes it impossible to have them finance remedial efforts.

According to Cheng, in addition to known high-energy consuming and polluting industries like the petrochemical industry and metal smelting industry, fertilizers and pesticides used in rural areas also leave a growing amount of heavy metals and organic pollutants in soil.

Cheng said the government should attach more attention to pollution sources in rural areas, and suggested the government to come up with funding for a recycling system for leftover pesticide bottles and fertilizer sacks.

Wang Shuli, another CPPCC member and also former deputy head of the Shandong Development and Reform Commission, agreed.

He said it is necessary for the government to come up with a soil pollution control act to prevent the soil condition from worsening.

He also suggested more attention be paid to new sources of soil pollution.

"We have been focusing on traditional sources of pollution, including pesticides and fertilizers, but new sources of contamination pose an ever more serious threat to the environment," he said.

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