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'Weak enforcement' challenges environmental law

Xinhua, July 30, 2015 Adjust font size:

Chinese authorities plan to set up a platform on social media forum WeChat for the public to report polluting practices, helping to implement the country's new Environmental Protection Law, vice minister for the environment Pan Yue said in Beijing on Monday.

"The major challenge in China's environmental policy and legislation is weak enforcement. A large number of regulations exist in name only and perform practically no function," Pan said, without providing a time line for launching the tip-off platform.

The environment ministry will crack down on construction projects that fail or skip environmental impact assessments, with more severe punishments vested by the new law, he vowed.

Public supervision is highlighted in the law in the hope that it can force local governments to shoulder their environmental responsibility and enterprises to obey the law.

Fines worth 7.23 million yuan (1.15 million U.S. dollars) have been imposed since the Environmental Protection Law took effect in January. In 122 cases, factories' production has been restricted or the factories have even been shut down.

The Supreme Court has set up 382 specialist environmental courts in 18 provinces.


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