Most of the costs previously reported in relation to the environment have been…environmental ones (see more here: “Where is All the Water ?”). Now, however, new regulations may help shift the cost burden to the polluters. A Reuters report notes that daily fines may be imposed instead of the current system:
“Normally, fines for pollution are capped at 200,000 yuan ($34,070) regardless of how long a factory ignores pollution regulations, the China Daily said.”
China’s State Environmental Protection Agency, has suggested daily fines of RMB40,000 to RMB100,000, while Mao Rubai, Chairman of the Environmental and Resources Protection Committee of China’s parliament is quoted as saying:
“The punishment should be calculated from the day that a factory is found guilty of pollution discharge until the day its emissions meet environmental protection requirements”.
Apart from the obvious environmental damage (and resulting water shortages), pollution (and related corruption) has resulted in rural unrest. The combination is an explosive one, and it is bringing the issues into sharp focus for the central government, which is said to be considering revisions to the Clean Water Act of 1984.
As with the many other laws China has developed during its rapid industrialization, it likely that effective enforcement – rather than endless drafts – will bring the greatest benefit.
See news source:
China to consider daily pollution fines 
From correspondents in Beijing
October 07, 2006 02:15pm
Article from: Reuters