China to Make Polluters Repair Damage or Pay Compensation

China to Make Polluters Repair Damage or Pay CompensationChina to Make Polluters Repair Damage or Pay Compensation

China plans to roll out by 2020 a nationwide system that forces polluters to repair damage to the environment or pay compensation.

The move, which extends a scheme already piloted in seven provinces, marks the latest step in a crackdown on pollution, which has been ramped up by the government this year, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

China aims to establish a comprehensive damage-compensation system to protect its environment in the next three years, citing a document issued on Sunday by the general offices of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council.

Individuals or companies that cause environmental damage will have to help restore the environment or pay compensation, if the damage is beyond repair. The news agency did not give details on the amount of compensation.

The penalties are aimed at tightening oversight of land, water and air pollution, and holding companies accountable for the clean-up costs and restoring the ecological balance after major accidents. A series of major toxic chemical spills have contaminated rivers and killed fish in recent years. The government is also considering a separate plan that would penalize offshore oil companies for damage to the marine environment.

The country has ramped up its war on pollution this year, shutting some factories and holding officials accountable after central inspections.

It has also launched an unprecedented campaign to switch millions of households and thousands of businesses from coal to natural gas in north China this winter.


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