Clean-up regulation toughens pollution sanctions
( 2003-06-28 09:52) (China Daily)
A new edict aimed at better curbing industrial pollution is set to come into force next month.
It will replace a provisional regulation introduced last year and help meet the needs of an economically booming China in the 21st century.
One of the novel aspects of the new regulation is that the fines and charges levied at companies who discharge pollutants will be redirected to help finance environmental clean-ups.
Vice-minister of State Environmental Protection Administration Wang Jirong has urged environmental departments at all levels to help business in the country become familiar with the new regulation which comes into force on July 1.
She also called on them to co-operate with financial and economic departments to ensure implementation of the new regulation and promote it among the wider public.
Once up-and-running, it will result in a transfer of focus from dealing with existing pollution to one which curbs pollution at source and governs the whole production process of industry.
Those moneys levied on firms who discharge pollutants will be merged with government coffers assigned for combating pollution. Meanwhile, funds needed for executing environmental laws and regulations will be provided by the government.
The administration and other relevant government bodies, including the State Reform and Development Commission and the Ministry of Finance, have also enacted a series of rules to support the implementation of the new regulation.
The regulation and the rules will strengthen the supervision of the discharge of pollutants and allow for the levying of severe punishment on those who violate them, Wang said, adding that environment watchdogs will face punishment if they abuse their powers.
China's charging system for pollutant discharge has played a positive role in addressing the problem of pollution and the collection of environmental protection funds, said Wang.
From 1982 to last year, when the provisional regulation on the charging of pollution was enacted, a total of 59.4 billion yuan (US$7.2 billion) was collected in pollution charges. This provisional regulation will be abandoned on July 1 as the new comes into effect.
All of the moneys levied have been used for environment related issues, including pollution treatment, environment monitoring and environmental education, she said.
However, given the economic development in China, the old system can no longer meet the demand for decreasing pollutants and improving the environment, she added.
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