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Use law to tackle air pollution

Updated: 2014-01-20 15:44

Even though the air pollution control and prevention measures of the Beijing government have won wide applause because of their clear style, the role of legislation should not be ignored. The current draft regulation under review by local legislators can provide better legal support for pollution control, says an article of the Beijing News. Excerpts:

Making a law on air pollution prevention and control has more advantages than making a government regulation, which often changes along with the personnel changes of the government.

The lawmakers have collected public opinions drafting the regulation that concerns the public’s livelihoods. The rule can serve as guidance for pollution control work as it addresses several crucial points for treating and controlling air pollution.

First, the rule holds tightly to the core issue of “controlling the overall volume” and clarifies the responsibilities of different government departments for cleaning the air.

Second, there are very specific regulations regarding almost all air polluting behaviors, from construction companies to individual citizens. The rule can help raise the consciousness of all relevant parties of air pollution prevention and control.

Third, the punishment for violating the rule is much harsher than before.

Fourth, the new rule encourages people to ensure the government fulfills its responsibility as the main public service provider. Air pollution has become a threat to public health. There is a detailed accountability system to force the government to address air pollution as a priority.

The Beijing legislature has set a good example and may provide reference for the national legislature in pollution control lawmaking.