Qu Geping, the first Director General of the State Environmental Protection Administration of China and Director of the Environment Protection and Resources Conservation Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), revealed that China is expected to enact a pollution damage compensation law in the next five years.
Qu said that the NPC Standing Committee has put the pollution damage compensation law on its agenda. He added that China's current laws and regulations on environmental protection are weak and principled and lack operability.
Qu revealed that the pollution damage compensation law will define big compensation and penalty because economic losses and health damage caused by pollution should be included. Such losses and damage not only cover the current period but also the future stage. Some pollutants make impacts that cannot be eliminated in a short time on the environment and people. According to foreign pollution damage compensation standards, compensation for health damage will constitute a considerable portion.
He said that at present some people responsible for environmental pollution ignore dissuasion and punishment of environmental protection departments. In some regions, local leaders will intercede for those who deserve punishment. Justice departments should intervene in such cases. Facing compulsory laws, one cannot bargain. Leaders ought not to plead for those who cause pollution and their intercession will be of no avail.
(Chinanews.cn February 24, 2006)