Watching the Environment

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While most eyes are on Beijing, more of Beijing’s eyes are now focused on environmental protection, according to Xinhua:

    “The Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) has expanded, with three new departments.
    These are the Department for Control of Pollutant Discharge, the Environment Monitoring Department, and the Department of Publicity and Education.

    “The reshuffle is conducive to the historic improvement of environmental protection,” said Zhou Shengxian, minister of the MEP, at the ministry’s mobilization meeting on July 25.

    “We would aim to strengthen our roles in coordination, policy-making, law-enforcement, and public service,” Zhou added.

    …The move highlighted the ministry’s duties to prevent pollution at its source, react to environmental incidents and reduce emission.
    The expansion also clarified the MEP’s role in prevention and control of water pollution.

    The expanded ministry now has 14 bodies under its name while its personnel remained unchanged.

    The MEP was established on March 27 this year. It developed from the previous State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA).”

This development should help the somewhat under-resourced ministry to do its work more effectively – and we have had a number of reports already that environmental testing at factories (not just foreign-invested ones) are on the increase, and that pressure is being applied to improve the quality of waste water (in some cases even where it meets current standards). Any factory with a water problem, and a reputation to protect, might want to consider rapid remedial action.

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