China’s New Law on Soil Pollution Prevention Approved

by China Water Risk 31 August, 2018

31 August, 2018 – The new “Soil Pollution Prevention & Control Law“ has been approved by China’s National People’s Congress (NPC) and will go into effect on 1 January, 2019.

This is China’s first dedicated law on soil protection, a step further from the “Soil Ten Plan” issued in May 2016. Together with previously revised pollution prevention & control laws on air (2015) and water (2017), it again shows that China has escalated its fight against pollution through legislation.

The new law has strengthened the responsibilities of governments and polluters in controlling and correcting soil pollution. Below are some of the key highlights from the new law:

  • A nationwide soil condition census should be conducted at least once every 10 years;
  • A network of monitoring stations should be established nationwide, with data and other information collected shared among authorities in environmental, agricultural, natural resources, housing, water resources, health and forestry and grassland sectors;
  • Environmental and health authorities of the State Council are required to conduct screening and evaluation of toxic and harmful substances in the soil and make public a list of them;
  • The central and provincial-level governments should establish funds to prevent and control soil pollution; and
  • Farmland polluters are required to make rehabilitation plans, put them on government record, and carry out the plans. Upon completion, polluters should entrust professional institutions to evaluate the effects and report the results to local governments.

For the full plan click here (Chinese only)