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China Daily Website

Draft aims to enhance environmental impact assessment

Updated: 2013-06-26 16:30
By ZHAO YINAN ( chinadaily.com.cn)

The draft amendment to the Environmental Protection Law has proposed stronger enforcement of the current environmental impact assessment system.

Projects that don't have an EIA should not start construction, and those that do commence construction without one may be required to halt and restore the site.

This is the first time such a requirement has been proposed.

The draft also requires greater public involvement during the EIA process. It stipulates that construction companies should solicit public opinion on projects, before delivering the EIA application to local environmental authorities. Local environmental authorities, in turn, have to release the report on their website in a timely manner.

China's EIA system has been criticized as a mere formality and lacking deterrent power after it was made mandatory in 2003.

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