Environmental protection in China: the role of law

Author: Alex Wang, Director, China Environmental Law Project, Natural Resources Defense Council, in China Dialogue, Published on: 5 February 2007

In 2005, there were some 51,000 disputes over environmental pollution...Since the passage of the draft Environmental Protection Law in 1979, China’s environmental law framework has grown to include more than 20 major statutes...[Yet] enforcement is now the real problem...there are signs that law and public advocacy will begin to play a larger role in China...The Center for Legal Assistance to Pollution Victims (CLAPV), a Beijing-based environmental law NGO...recently helped a group of nearly 2,000 farmers in Fujian Province win a judgment against Asia’s largest potassium chlorate plant [Rongping Joint Chemical Plant, part of Fuzhou Yihua]...The government-sponsored All-China Environment Federation (ACEF) has taken on 23 environmental matters covering over 3,000 people...The White Swan Residential Development in Guangzhou opposed the construction of high-voltage transmission towers [owned by China Southern Power Grid]...and discovered clear violation of the EIA Law...The Bai Wang Jia Yuan Residential Development case in Beijing involved transmission towers built [by Beijing Electric Power]...led to the first public hearing on environmental impact assessment...

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