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China issues regulation to curb marine pollution by ships
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China's State Council, or the Cabinet, issued a new regulation Wednesday targeting prevention and remedies for marine pollution caused by ships.

The regulation, which includes nine sections and 78 rules, said transportation departments under the Cabinet should compile emergency plans to deal with pollution caused by ships or related activities.

Once the plans are completed and have been approved by the Cabinet, coastal governments above city level should map out emergency plans based on one proved by the State Council.

China's transport departments and governments above city level have also been asked to establish emergency mechanisms and plans to prevent and deal with marine pollution.

Marine management institutions should cooperate with other departments to improve monitoring and supervision over the activity of ships and pollution caused by them

Professional teams to deal with emergencies, specialized equipment and facilities should be organized, according to the regulation.

Anyone who is responsible for marine pollution should make efforts to eliminate the pollution hazard and make compensation.

The regulation will take effect on March 1, 2010.

Official statistics say 733 ship pollution accidents occurred between 1998 to 2008 in sea areas in China's jurisdiction, which led to huge economic and environmental losses. The regulations will apply to every type of shipping, except military.

(Xinhua News Agency September 17, 2009)

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