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No Cap for Environmental Costs

Most of the costs previously reported in relation to the environment have been…environmental ones (see more here: “Where is All the Water [1]?”). 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:

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:

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.

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