Push for soil quality regulations will have consequences

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By Yin Juquan and Liu Ting

With environmental pollution front and centre in the Chinese press, the government in Beijing has moved to address at least one aspect of the problem — soil pollution. In a sign that new regulations on soil quality are on their way, the State Council recently issued a directive titled ‘Working arrangement of the recent environmental protection and comprehensive treatment of soil’. Investors take note: the policies proposed by the council will almost certainly affect existing and future investments in sectors such as manufacturing and heavy industry, as well as investments in geographic areas deemed to be ecologically sensitive.

A council directive is intended to guide the drafting of legislation and is an important clue to the scope of future regulation. A number of the council’s recommendations could significantly alter the current regulatory landscape. Regulation is expected to be forthcoming on national, provincial and local levels in a number of areas…

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