More Laws to Protect Nation's Environment

A package of new environmental protection laws and regulations will be passed in the next few years to spur economic development, an official of the Standing Committee of National People's Congress said Wednesday.

Sun Youhai, who spoke at a Beijing conference, said the seven draft laws and regulations cover: evaluations of environmental influences, limiting sandstorms and desertification, cleaner production processes, controlling pollutant discharges, limiting pollution from automobiles and licensing the disposal of hazardous waste.

The new laws would be a good supplement to the nation's 19 environmental laws and 123 administrative regulations on environmental and resources protection formulated by the State Council, Sun said at the conference on environmental reform and strategic alliances in China.

Despite the push for new laws, Chris Van Lint,general manager of the Regulatory Affairs Department of Bayer China Co Ltd, the German chemical giant, said China's current environmental laws are " world standard.''

Implementing environmental laws is a central government priority.

As a result, thousands of small enterprises involving six industries, such as coal mining and oil refining, were shut down in recent years, said Bie Tao, director of the Department of Policy and Law of the State Environmental Protection Administration.

Without sufficient funds and technology, these small enterprises are unable to handle their own pollution, said Van Lint.

Public awareness is also vital to environmental protection, added Peter C. Feldinger, president of Novo Nordisk China, a Danish company engaged in diabetes care and industrial enzymes.

(China Daily)

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