Environmental impact assessment reports must be submitted to the National Environmental Protection Agency (NEPA) for all construction projects, under a new law that will be introduced in September 2003, South China Morning Post said. Applicants will also be required to hold public hearings before putting forward their reports. Those who do not follow the procedure could be fined amounts up to Yn200,000. Local landuse would also have to include an environmental impact statement.
The newspaper commented that the new law would be a significant victory for NEPA over opposition from other ministries who argued that it would encroach on their jurisdictions and from local governments who said that it would expand the powers of central government.