Shanghai gets stronger law to curb pollution
Starting on Thursday, Shanghai will take stronger action against polluters under a new Environmental Protection Law.
Law enforcement officers will be allowed to seal up polluting ventures and detain people in charge of the polluting projects, as well as people directly responsible for any unregistered discharging of pollutants.
Local government officials in charge of supervising polluting enterprises also will be held accountable for dereliction of duties if the enterprises cause serious environmental pollution.
The former law only demanded that government departments disclose information on environmental pollution. The new law requires enterprises to make timely disclosure of more information to the public, including the quantity, contents and forms pollutants, as well as their steps to solve pollution.
The environmental protection bureau will mainly deal with air and water pollution, targeting boilers spewing black smoke, volatile organic compound discharges, dust at construction sites and automobile emissions.
The new law also requires Shanghai to create an ecological red line for its environmentally sensitive and fragile areas.
“The source of drinking water, natural reserves, and tidal flat wetland in Shanghai will be included within the ecological red line to be drawn,” said Yu Feilin, director of the regulation division of the environmental protection bureau. Governments and residents in those areas will receive an ecological compensation fee from authorities to persuade them to choose environmentally friendly industries and lifestyles.
More than 80 people responsible for pollution have been charged in 15 criminal cases in the past year.
Water hyacinth silted up with household refuse jammed the water surface of the east side of the Huangpu River in Shanghai on Dec 27, threatening the drinking water safety of the city.