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Monthly Archives: January 2009

Environmental Public Interest Litigation – Maritime Courts "Changing the Game"

As the Chinese public and the media focus their attention towards environmental public interest litigation on a few court systems around the country, the role of maritime courts has emerged as a surprising alternative. Originally, the Guangzhou maritime court accepted a environmental public interest litigation case from the local procuratorate with a civil plaintiff in 2008, finally issuing its judgment on December 9, 2008. The polluters were found responsible for environmental damages, with the civil liability totalling 110,000 RMB. This case marked the first Guangdong environmental public interest litigation case satisfactorily resolved in favor of the prosecution.

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The New Ministry of Environmental Protection Data Center

Despite the economic downturn, well-reported recent drops in energy use (see here and here) and the hush and general lack of activity that falls across Beijing during Spring Festival, the air quality in the capital city recently has seemed worse than it’s been in a long time. Checking the Ministry of Environmental Protection’s website for environmental quality data, we found that the air quality scores over the last two days recorded 95 and 88, which are not great, but nonetheless count as “blue sky days” under the Chinese system. The forecast for the 24-hour period starting at noon yesterday showed an estimated API of 130-150, which … Continue reading 阅读全文 » Add comment 发表评论(0)

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Happy Chinese New Year!

新年快乐! We at Greenlaw wish everyone a Happy Chinese New Year. Greenlaw will take a break for the Chinese New Year holiday week.  We may post from time to time this coming week, but our regular posting schedule resumes on February 2nd.

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Recent Environmental Law and Public Participation News

In the past week, Chinese news media has focused on several important public participation and environmental public interest litigation issues. The release of the China Software Testing Center’s evaluation of government website openness has generated discussion on how much work there is left to do. Meanwhile, local governments in Hainan, Hubei, and Yunnan are intensifying efforts to improve support for environmental public interest litigation and the creation of environmental courts. Six articles after the jump.

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Wang Yongchen: “Looking Back on the PX Incident”

With news of the approval for the PX project in Zhangzhou this past week, it’s worth taking a look back on what happened in Xiamen.  Wang Yongchen has written a piece that pulls together much of the media coverage of the time to tell the full story of the cancellation of the the Tenglong Aromatic PX (Xiamen) Co. Ltd. factory in Xiamen.  Click here to read (Chinese). Here are some links on the Xiamen PX incident in English: “Xiamen Calls An Abrupt Halt to the PX Project to Deal with the Public Crisis,” Zhu Hongjun (朱红军), Southern Weekend, May 28, … Continue reading 阅读全文 » Add comment 发表评论(0)

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China Daily: China, US New Year green vows need action

Barbara Finamore and I had an article in the China Daily on Monday concerning pledges of “green stimulus” in China and the U.S.  [1/21/09: The article also ran in China Dialogue today.]  The API hitting a smoggy 137 (Grade 3A) yesterday in Beijing is a strong reminder of the need for swift action on the environment in China (this past week has been a bad air week). January 1st in many parts of the world is a time for New Year resolutions. We reflect on our bad habits and vow to change for the better – to lose weight, quit … Continue reading 阅读全文 » Add comment 发表评论(6)

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Green Yangtze Delta December newsletter published

The December 2008 edition of the Green Yangtze Delta newsletter launched recently. Articles in this newsletter include: Volunteer action in Green Zhejiang to support one community member “2030, Ningbo might be sunk?” addresses the potential consequences of over drilling for underground water Community members in Hangzhou’s Sandun compound are concerned about air pollution issues Nanjing grassroots groups may get operational funding Anhui commentary: “Cross boundary pollution management must follow rules” Please download here to read more. Earlier editions are available here. Green Yangtze Delta is a partnership among several of China’s impressive local environmental groups: Jiangsu Friends of Green (江苏绿色之友); … Continue reading 阅读全文 » Add comment 发表评论(0)

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Mixed Chinese reactions towards approved PX plant in Zhangzhou

On January 12, 2009, the Ministry of Environmental Protection announced that the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for a Paraxylene (PX) plant in Zhangzhou had been approved. News of the announcement spread quickly through Chinese and international media circles, bringing the hot topic of Paraxylene manufacturing back into the public domain after a hiatus of 18 months. The term “PX” gained a heroic meaning in the Chinese news in 2007 when citizens of Xiamen mounted a grassroots campaign against the plans for the construction of a PX plant, which citizens believed would expose them to health risks. The activists charged that … Continue reading 阅读全文 » Add comment 发表评论(1)

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One Small Step for Chinese Environmental Public Participation? Civil Society Participates for the First Time in Hydropower Project Technical EIA

Last month marked the first time representatives from Chinese environmental groups were invited to participate in the environmental impact assessment for a major hydropower project in China, according to the First Financial Daily. Ma Jun, director of the Institute for Public & Environmental Affairs, and Yang Yong, representative for the Green Earth Volunteers, took part in the meeting to conduct technical evaluation on environmental impact assessment for the Ahai Dam on the Jingsha River on December 29-30, 2008 in Beijing. One expert at the meeting noted that major preliminary work on the dam had begun prior to completion of the … Continue reading 阅读全文 » Add comment 发表评论(0)

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MEP Grants Approval for 153 Projects

The Ministry of Environmental Protection announced last Friday that it had approved 153 projects around the country most of which are part of China’s recently announced RMB 4 trillion economic stimulus package. The total investment represented by these 153 projects was 470 billion yuan.  According to an article in the China Daily: Among the projects cleared, 31 are involved in infrastructure development, such as transportation and water conservation, totaling 139.3 billion yuan, MEP said. The national environmental watchdog said it had rejected 11 high energy consumption and heavy polluting projects to protect the country’s ecology. Involving a total budget of … Continue reading 阅读全文 » Add comment 发表评论(0)

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