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3 - The Environmental Protection Law

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 June 2021

Yuhong Zhao
Affiliation:
The Chinese University of Hong Kong
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Summary

Chapter 3 studies the Environmental Protection Law (EPL) (2014), which was first enacted in 1979 for trial implementation. It provides for the basic environmental legal principles and regulatory control mechanisms for adoption by specialized environmental statutes to address air pollution, water pollution, waste management and soil contamination. This chapter reviews the history of environmental law making in China from EPL (for trial implementation) (1979) to EPL (1989) and EPL (2014), and examines important development on government responsibility and accountability, and major environmental legal principles including sustainable development principle, coordinated development principle, preventative principle, polluter pays principle and public participation principle. The chapter further investigates regulatory control mechanisms including environmental impact assessment, total pollution control, control by permit, environmental emergency response, and enforcement and sanction. The chapter concludes with discussion of economic instruments as indispensable supplement to the command-and-control approach including pollution discharge fees, environmental tax, pollution liability insurance, ecological compensation and government procurement.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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