Harsher Environmental Protection Law Offers Legal Support: ACWF President

January 4, 2015
Editor: Arnold Hou
Shen Yueyue, vice chairperson of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) and president of the All-China Women's Federation (ACWF), speaks at a forum in Beijing on December 30, 2014. [hnrd.gov.cn]

China's revised Environmental Protection Law should be publicized among the public to ensure its strict implementation, in an effort to promote eco-friendly construction throughout the country's and fast-developing communities and to protect people's living environment and health.

The statement was made by Shen Yueyue, vice chairperson of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) and president of the All-China Women's Federation (ACWF), at a forum in Beijing on December 30, 2014.

The revised law came into effect on January 1, 2015, bringing with it heavier punishments for individuals and organizations that do not act in accordance with its regulations.

Shen stressed that environmental protection is one of China's basic state policies and that the country's current state of affairs from an environmental standpoint is still rather grim. The implementation of the revised law is a major component in the country's eco-friendly development and construction framework and is beneficial in serving the country's causes of environmental protection and rule of law.

Shen also emphasized that supporting regulations should be created along with improvements to the relevant areas of the legal system in order to solve the ongoing prevalent issues with air, water and soil pollution, in a bid to provide legal support for the sustainable construction and economic and social development of a beautiful China.

According to the revised law, extra fines accumulating on a daily basis will be imposed on enterprises that fail to rectify their violations of the environmental legislation.

Local officials may be demoted or dismissed for misconduct, including the concealment of offenses, falsifying data, failing to publicize environmental data, and not giving closure orders to enterprises that illegally discharge pollutants.

The new law also stipulates that economic and social development should be coordinated with environmental protection and encourages studies on the impact that environmental quality has on public health, emphasizing the prevention and control of pollution-related diseases.

Included in the newly revised legislation are specific articles and provisions that tackle smog, public environmental-protection awareness and the protection of whistleblowers.

The revision, the first since the law was promulgated in 1989, was adopted in April 2014 at the eighth meeting of the Standing Committee of the 12th NPC, the country's top legislature.

(Source: cnwomen.com.cn/Translated and edited by Women of China)

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