Law on Soil Pollution Prevention and Control Issued

On 31 August 2018, the National People’s Congress of China issued the Law on Soil Pollution Prevention and Control that will come into force on 1 January 2019. As the first soil protection law, it has attracted wide attention and controversy throughout the draft study in 2006, the two proposals in 2017, as well as the final published version.

The Law consists of 7 chapters and establishes the principle of prevention-oriented, protection priority, classification management, risk management, pollution accountability, and public participation. The Law emphasizes the person responsible for the soil pollution, who shall bear the burden of the corresponding liabilities against the soil pollution and its associated activities. For those who are exposed with high soil pollution risks, such as Key Monitoring Entities, the Law has imposed stricter soil protection requirements on them.

In addition, the Law also stipulates a series of soil protection mechanisms, including soil environmental information sharing mechanisms, prevention and control systems for toxic and harmful substances to soil, soil pollution risk control and remediation systems, and soil pollution control fund systems.

The Law performs as a general legislation for soil protection. Further regulations and standards are expected to be issued in the future, providing detailed requirements accordingly. We will keep track with these developments and update you when appropriate.