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Law Expected to Protect Environment
China will soon publish a new law requiring evaluation of environmental impact of new construction project, according to a senior environmental official.

The law would help to nip environmental hazards in the bud, Zhu Xingxiang, director of the supervision and management department of the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA), told a conference of regional environmental protection chiefs in Nanchang, capital of east China's Jiangxi Province.

Zhu said the law would require new construction projects and planning programs to receive environmental impact appraisals. The appraisal reports would accompany project applications to the approval authorities.

Zhu said this would compel relevant parties to fully consider environmental factors in filing and approving new projects and programs.

"The system helps to clarify the responsibilities and obligations of all parties," said Zhu.

China initiated environmental appraisals of new construction projects in 1979. The new law, expected to be published soon, has expanded the scope to planning programs.

He said planning programs on land use, urban planning, regional development and development planning for industry, agriculture, forestry, energy and other specific sectors would be subject to the law.

(Xinhua News Agency October 25, 2002)

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