Preventing pollution better than curing it

0 CommentsPrintE-mail China Daily, August 28, 2009
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A series of serious pollution cases have left people wondering why high-polluting industries were sanctioned and could operate in populous areas for years, and if the environmental evaluation of new projects can prevent such incidents, says an article in Guangzhou Daily. Excerpt:

New projects will not be approved from October if they fail environmental evaluation, according to a regulation that aims to prevent pollution and environmental disasters.

In 2002, China adopted the Law of Evaluation of Environmental Effects, which made environmental evaluation of new projects mandatory. But enforcing the law was a difficult task for lack of concrete supporting measures.

The new regulation is aimed at dealing with the conflict of interests between environmental protection departments and local governments, and establishing procedural and substantive provisions according to projects' environmental tests.

To assure the smooth implementation of the new regulation, governments at various levels have to first change their mentality of "pollution first, treatment later". And public opinion should be solicited before inviting new projects for environmental evaluation. Giving people a voice or even veto power in environmental evaluation is merely allowing them to protect their fundamental interests.

We hope the new regulation facilitates the country's transformation into a green economy by preventing pollution and environmental disasters.

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