The Revised Environmental Protection Law Has Teeth, But Will it Bite?

New provisions for continuous fines, detention for polluters, and public interest lawsuits give China’s revised Environmental Protection Law (EPL) new powers to fight the war on pollution. But whether or not the EPL’s added clout results in a cleaner environment depends on enforcement capacity—as well as implementation. The 1989 EPL was revised to mete out more serious punishments to polluters, reflecting growing concerns within China’s leadership and at the local level about worsening water and air pollution in China.


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