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Law on Solid Waste Pollution Control Amended

The 13th session of the Standing Committee of the 10th National People's Congress (NPC) approved on Wednesday an amendment to the law on solid waste pollution prevention.  The country is confronting serious challenges caused by mounting quantities of solid waste.

The Standing Committee considered the first draft of the amendment at its 12th meeting, held from October 22 to 27.

"Encouraging the recycling of solid waste and clarifying the responsibilities of polluters are the major principles of the revision," said Mao Rubai, chairman of the Environment and Resources Protection Committee of the NPC.

The law currently contains relatively clear clauses pertaining to responsibility during the production process, but overlooks after-sale and disposal issues. The amendment adds these clauses, and also defines responsibilities in the event of reorganization or change in status of the waste producer.

Moreover, officials who fail to provide adequate supervision will be subject to penalties, including the possibility of criminal charges.

The increase in imported solid waste, which has caused serious pollution across the country, has drawn widespread concern from citizens. The amendment will require classification of imported waste and allows for criminal prosecution of those who violate the law.

Clauses on disposal of dangerous waste, excessive packaging, discarded electronic appliances and domestic animal excretion in rural areas are also included. Other sections will help pollution victims obtain evidence and cut the costs of lawsuits against pollution producers.

(Xinhua News Agency December 30, 2004)

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