29 June 2016
Soil Pollution Prevention Law Now in Drafting Stage
The Environment Protection and Resources Conservation Committee of the National People's Congress is working on the drafting of China's first Soil Pollution Prevention Law. There was a legal void in China in this area before this.
The just released Research Report on Soil Remediation Technologies and Market Development in China (2016-2020) pointed out that a comparative study on the number of enterprises and the relocation of contaminated sites in China and other countries shows that there are between 1-2 million contaminated sites in China.
At present, only about 10% of China's abandoned mines have been reclaimed, which means that some 1.5 million hectares of abandoned mines are awaiting environmental remediation. Among these, 30% are heavy metal mines scattered in over 700 places, with Hunan, Guangdong, Guangxi, Sichuan, Shaanxi, Anhui and Hebei accounting for 41% of the total.
Control of heavy metal contamination of the soil and the elimination of cadmium in rice are of crucial importance in grain production.
Last year, the Ministry of Agriculture organised research teams to conduct large-scale studies on heavy metal pollution behind cadmium rice incidents and find practical and feasible solutions.
It is understood that the central treasury will allocate Rmb2.8 billion to support major projects for the control of heavy metal pollution in 30 cities and will continue to give support to key areas over the next three years. The Rmb2.79 billion allocated in 2015 was mainly used in accelerating the comprehensive prevention and control of heavy metal pollution.
Heavy metal is not biodegradable but is bioaccumulative. Some academics even believe that soil pollution by heavy metal is irreversible.