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Handsome rewards can prompt people to report pollution

China Daily | Updated: 2017-11-20 07:59

THE GOVERNMENT of Jingjiang, East China's Jiangsu province, has reportedly rewarded a man 300,000 yuan ($45,000) for his tip-off about soil pollution over two years ago. Beijing News commented on Sunday:

The 300,000 yuan bonus came as a surprise to the man, who had already received 3 million yuan in compensation from the Jingjiang government as compensation.

In 2015, the man discovered his skin disease was due to dangerous industrial waste buried beneath his pig farm.

After he posted what had happened to him on the internet. Three people of two companies were found responsible for polluting the environment. The two companies were instructed to carry out a soil recovery plan that cost some 190 million yuan.

The man's record reward for exposing environmental pollution is an exception as many citizens reporting pollution have not received anything.

It is important that more people join the fight against pollution, either through reporting misconduct or by cooperating with the environmental protection enforcers. For that to happen, decent incentives should be in place, especially at a time when there are not enough environmental protection enforcers-in Shanghai home to more than 20 million people, there are less than 600 people in charge of such enforcement missions.

In the case of the pig farmer, few remembered that his pig farm had been home to a chemical factory years ago, due to the constant changes of land ownership. Had it not been his skin disease, he himself would not have found the buried chemical waste and reported it to the local government. Had it not been his refusal to the repurchase request from the responsible polluter that wanted to sweep the scandal under carpet, the poisonous material would have stayed buried for a lot more years.

Given the potential harm pollution can cause, people reporting it deserve rewards.

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