Enterprises will face a fine as high as 500,000 yuan (US$
67,467) if they are caught discharging highly poisonous liquid
waste into waters, according to the Administrative Measures on the
Prevention of Drinking Water Source Pollution (Draft) released by
the State Environmental Protection Administration on November 22,
According to the Administrative Measures, any enterprise or
individual who suffers loss or damage due to pollution of a
drinking water source has the right to seek legal remedy and
compensation from the responsible party. Meanwhile, the State is
working hard to promote the establishment of an ecological
compensation system for various drinking water sources. Relevant
government departments will work together to draw up a detailed
plan in this regard.
At the current stage, major drinking water sources will be
divided into two areas: first-class conservation area and
second-class conservation area. If necessary an auxiliary
conservation area will also be set up outside the drinking water
source. Markers should be installed at conspicuous locations to
show the boundaries of each conservation area.
In these conservation areas, anyone who illegally discharges
highly poisonous liquid waste into waters, anyone who illegally
discharges, dumps or buries highly poisonous soluble waste residues
such as mercury, cadmium, arsenic, chromium, lead, cyanide and
yellow phosphorus under the ground, and anyone who illegally
discharges or dumps poisonous waste waters and waste residues into
seepage pits, cracks and limestone caves, will face a severe fine
ranging between 50,000 yuan (US$2,701.43) and 500,000 yuan.
Additionally, any discharge or dumping of industrial waste
residues, domestic garbage and other wastes into waters is strictly
prohibited in drinking water sources. Those who violate the
regulation in auxiliary conservation areas will face a fine ranging
between 20,000 yuan (US$2,701.43) and 200,000 yuan (US$26,986).
Anyone who violates the regulation in first-class or second-class
conservation areas will face a fine ranging between 50,000 yuan and
Previously, the SEPA has adopted a draft regulation on the
prevention of water pollution, which also contains rules to remedy
and compensate for losses and damages incurred by water pollution.
However, a staff member from the country's top environment watchdog
yesterday told the Beijing Times that specific standards
have not yet been established to calculate compensation.
To ensure the effective implementation of these draft
regulations, supplementary measures should also be put into place,
such as effective methods to identify the victim suffering from
pollution, a way to measure the seriousness of the case and
perimeters to calculate the physical and mental damages incurred by
pollution. "This is a complicated project. We need to establish
more rules and regulations to ensure the implementation of these
Administrative Measures," said the SEPA staff member.
Any suggestions to the new measures would be warmly welcomed.
Opinions may be sent to SPEA at firstname.lastname@example.org
prior to November 30, 2007.
(China.org.cn by Chen Xia, November 23, 2007)