Environmental Protection Law

By Denning Jin , Yongqi Tao, King and Wood Mallesons’ Dispute Resolution Group

jin_denningIn the past decades, explosive economic and industrial growth in China has led to significant environmental degradation. As a result, China is currently in the process of developing more stringent controls over environmental issues. Since the new leadership came into power, the government declared a “war against pollution” and embarked on the road to “ecological civilization” in the context of the rule of law reform it recently launched. Therefore, we expect that environmental law and its enforcement will surely be a critical part of Chinese legal reform.

At the beginning of 2015, several big issues received widespread attention. On 1 January 2015, China formally began to implement the updated PRC Environmental Protection Law (“Amended EPL”), imposing incredibly harsher legal liabilities to polluters. In addition, a public interest lawsuit that yielded a $26 million verdict was chosen by the Supreme People’s Court as one of the most important cases of 2014. In this new era, these are clear signals that besides the improved administrative enforcement, new approaches, such as public interest lawsuits, will also become of importance in the regulation of environmental issues. Consequently, both enterprises’ outdated production mode and outdated concepts shall be abandoned. In order to better prepare you, we hereby introduce to you the new environmental law regime from multiple perspectives through this series of articles.
Continue Reading Harsher Legal Liabilities under New Environmental Law Regime

By King & Wood Mallesons Compliance Group

On 24 April 2014 the PRC Government approved changes to the Environment Protection Law of the People’s Republic of China, for the first time in 25 year (“Revised Law”). The Revised Law will come into force on January 1, 2015 and apply to almost every article of the current law. The Revised Law imposes stricter obligations on enterprises regarding pollution prevention and control, and provides for more severe penalties. With regard to public policy, the Revised Law specifies that the Government shall support the development of the environment industry and shall encourage enterprises to take environmental protection measures. Furthermore, the Revised Law allows for environment public-interest litigation. Details are as follows:
Continue Reading Environmental Protection Law: Big Changes in 2014