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Law to combat soil pollution expected this year

By Xiao Lixin in Beijing (chinadaily.com.cn)

Updated: 2015-03-09 19:08:48


The long-waited Soil Pollution Prevention and Control Action Plan is expected to be launched in this year, said Vice Minister of Environmental Protection Li Ganjie at a CPPCC proposal processing and negotiation conference on March 8.

"The draft of soil pollution control law was officially submitted to the Environment and Resource Protection Committee of the NPC at the end of 2014," said Li. "Besides, the ministry released the revised draft of the standard for soil environment quality and solicited public opinions in this January."

Moreover, the Ministry of Environmental Protection also will introduce a series of measures to contain the trend of worsening soil environment and soil pollution within coming six or seven years.

Investigations conducted by the ministry and the Ministry of Land and Resources show that at present the soil environment in China is far from optimistic.

"The soil pollution exists across the country and is especially grave in some regions," said the vice minister. "Nationwide speaking, soil pollutant in general has exceeded domestic standard by 16.1 percent while the rate even reached 19.4 percent in cultivated land."

However, currently the vacuum of special law or regulations with respect to soil environmental protection still remains and relevant standard system requires urgent improvement.

In response to proposals made during the two sessions and the huge challenges faced in the cause of soil environmental protection, Li unveiled the agenda of the ministry in the near future at the conference.

Cultivated and building lands that concern the very basics of the public's life, will be the key two aspects of attention in the soil environmental protection work, which comprises pollution prevention, control and abatement.

"The next fundamental steps the ministry will take is to figure out the extent of soil pollution at local levels, improve current quality standards and fill the vacancy of relevant laws and regulations," said the vice minister. "With the help of the innovative technology, soil quality examination in rural areas will be enhanced and further boost the country's soil environmental protection."