China's first soil pollution prevention regulations introduced

Updated: 2016-02-01 22:10

By Zhou Lihua & Liu Kun(

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The Fourth Session of The 12th Hubei People's Congress voted to pass "Soil Pollution Prevention and Control Regulation of Hubei Province", China's first local laws and regulations for the prevention of soil pollution on Monday.

This regulations were introduced after the Hubei flood control legislation two years ago and the last legislative gas governance. Wang Jianming, deputy director of the Hubei People's Congress said China has no special legislation for environmental soil protection, limiting works of soil pollution prevention and control. Since soil pollution prevention is ecological engineering legislation is seen as the fundamental way to solve the problem. In promoting legislation of soil prevention, Hubei acts as the forerunner to explore nationwide, laying a good foundations for national level legislation.

The Soil Pollution Prevention Act of Hubei Province provides that the provincial people's government establish a production project directory prohibiting construction, renovation, expansion of soil environment pollution; set the deadline to eliminate technology and equipment causing serious pollution to soil environment, shut down polluting enterprises which do not comply with industrial policies; environmental protection departments at all levels to strengthen the focus on monitoring and supervision to industries and enterprises with high risk of soil pollution.

To truly realize prevention at the source, the regulations also provides that high-risk soil pollution industries and enterprises implement cleaner production audits mandatory by law, soil pollution control facility construction projects with the main project should be designed, constructed and put into use concurrently.

For the implementation of the supervision and management of soil pollution prevention and control, "the Regulations" also stipulate that to practice executive heads of the implementation of soil pollution prevention and control responsibility, outgoing audit system of the soil environment and soil environmental damage liability lifelong accountability system.

According to the regulations, the relevant departments carry out at least once every five years to organize soil environmental quality of the census, the establishment of soil environmental quality archives, soil environmental quality of drinking water source protection area survey at least once a year; those who do not perform their duties according to law within a term of office, leading to soil deterioration of environmental quality to area and causing serious consequences, the government should sack them and implement lifelong accountability.

The 9th item of "Soil Pollution Prevention Act of Hubei Province," says: "People's governments above the county level of housing and urban construction departments are responsible for overseeing the management of the administrative area of land for construction of soil pollution prevention and waste treatment and other aspects of urban and rural life." Province Housing and construction Office deputy director Zhao Jun said that we need to solve the problem of urban and rural waste disposal, effectively reduce the pollution to soil environment.

Zhao said problems of urban and rural waste disposal is closely bound up with soil pollution prevention. With economic and social development, urban and rural waste composition has changed a lot. As for rural garbage, pesticide residue, plastic film and other non-degradable plastics are challenging problems of rural waste disposal.