Environmental watchdog urges transparent assessment

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, December 11, 2013
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China's environmental watchdog on Tuesday asked for transparent environmental assessment and vowed to show zero leniency to organs and staff involved in falsifications.

Environmental assessment organs must publicize their environmental assessment reports in full text in order to solicit more suggestions and receive more supervision from the public, according to a statement released by the Ministry of Environmental Protection.

It asked local governments to make public their promises on environmental protection, enabling the public to press authorities to better fulfill their commitments.

Environmental assessment materials, both approved and disapproved by environmental authorities, should be made public in their entirety, according to the statement.

It added that qualifications, credit records and punishments of all environmental assessment organs and environmental assessment practitioners should also be made public.

It has become common for residents to criticize local authorities for damaging the environment and endangering public health by approving new construction projects that are believed to pose environmental risks.

Thousands of people gathered in the city of Shifang in southwest China's Sichuan province in July 2012 to demand the local government halt construction of a copper smelting plant that many feared would harm the city's water and air.

The project was duly scrapped.

A separate circular issued by the ministry called for tighter supervision of environmental assessment organs and practitioners, saying that qualification certificates of such organs and practitioners will be revoked if falsifications are found.

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