China's environmental agency to hear a wider variety of petitions

Published: Wednesday 31 January 2007

China's environment agency recently formulated a policy that expands the nature and variety of environmental petitions that it can handle.

The policy comes after the country's State Environmental Protection Administration (sepa) lost a lawsuit in June 2006 against 82 aquafarm owners from Zhejiang province because it refused to address a petition that did not come under its jurisdiction.

The aquafarms suffered a loss of us $21.2 million because of pollution by nearby industries. They complained to the Zhejiang environmental protection bureau but no action was taken. They then approcahed sepa. When sepa too refused, they filed a case in the Beijing Intermediate People's Court that directed sepa to protect their property.

sepa has agreed that in cases of unclear or mixed jurisdiction, they will take up the petitions first.

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