Government
"Weak enforcement" challenges environmental law: vice minister
Last Updated: 2015-03-03 06:52 | Xinhua
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Chinese authorities plan to set upa platform on social media forum WeChat for the public to reportpolluting practices, helping to implement the country's new Environmental Protection Law, vice minister for the environment PanYue said in Beijing on Monday.

"The major challenge in China's environmental policy andlegislation is weak enforcement. A large number of regulationsexist in name only and perform practically no function," Pan said,without providing a time line for launching the tip-offplatform.

The environment ministry will crack down on constructionprojects that fail or skip environmental impact assessments, withmore severe punishments vested by the new law, he vowed.

Public supervision is highlighted in the law in the hope that itcan force local governments to shoulder their environmentalresponsibility and enterprises to obey the law.

Fines worth 7.23 million yuan (1.15 million U.S. dollars) havebeen imposed since the Environmental Protection Law took effect inJanuary. In 122 cases, factories' production has been restricted orthe factories have even been shut down.

The Supreme Court has set up 382 specialist environmental courtsin 18 provinces.

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