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Premier Wen Jiabao Chaired the Executive Meeting of the State Council
Premier Wen Jiabao of the State Council chaired an executive meeting of the State Council on September 7, 2011. The meeting listened to the briefings about handling oil spill accident of Penglai No. 19—3 oilfield and environmental protection of the Bohai Sea, studied and arranged major activities on strengthening environmental protection.
Penglai No. 19—3 oilfield in central south area of the Bohai Sea had several oil spill accidents since June 4, 2011. The oil spills have caused contamination of over 5500 km2 of marine area up to September 6, leading to serious adverse impacts on marine ecology and fishery industry. At present, the oil spill risk sites are still not completely identified, the hidden risks of oil spill have not been completely eliminated, the economic and environmental loss of the oil spill is still under investigation and assessment. Relevant departments should shoulder their responsibility and successfully investigate and handle the accident as soon as possible. 1) Relevant authority should urge the enterprise responsible for the accident to thoroughly investigate oil spill risk sites, block the oil spill sources, seriously clean up oil spill, practically reduce pollution damage, and compile a new marine environment impact statement. 2) Relevant authority should investigate and identify the cause, hazards and loss of the accident, investigate the responsibility according to law, and safeguard legitimate rights and interests of all stakeholders subject to the loss. 3) Relevant authority should learn the lessons, immediately arrange and carry out inspection on safe production of exploration & development of marine oil resources, strengthen marine environment monitoring and supervision in an all round way, carry out safety measures and eliminate all kinds of risks in time. 4) Relevant authority should comprehensively and accurately release the information about handling of the accident in time and respond to public concern. 5) Relevant authority should make long-term plan and study and improve the laws and regulations on protection of marine environment as soon as possible.
The meeting analyzed environmental protection situation of the Bohai Sea. The Bohai Sea is a semi-enclosed sea. Some rivers bring large amount of pollutants into the Bohai Sea due to high concentration of heavy and chemical enterprises. Excessive reclamation leads to degradation of coastal marine waters, loss of beach wetland and heavy pollution of the Bohai Bay and Liaodong Bay. In the past few years, the State has developed and carried out the Master Plan for Protection of the Environment of Bohai Sea with some progress. However, the situation is still very grave. The Meeting identified the following objectives of the next period: ensuring eco safety of the Bohai Sea, reduction of total amount of in-flowing pollutants and overall improvement of water quality of coastal marine areas and striving for the harmony between man and the sea. To meet this objective, firstly, we will strengthen plan and guidance, optimize industrial structure and layout, and practically change the situation of too big proportion and concentrated situation of heavy & chemical enterprises in coastal regions. We will strictly control any new petrochemical construction projects and ban the reclamation activities in areas that may lead to serious ecological imbalance. Secondly, we will make more efforts in pollution control and effectively control land-sea based pollution sources. We will adhere to the ecosystem-based development, strengthen comprehensive management of the rivers flowing into the sea and improve water quality of these rivers. We will appropriately distribute coastal pollution outlets and develop stricter local discharge standard for water pollutants. Thirdly, we will adopt many measures to protect and restore the ecosystems in the Bohai Sea. We will strengthen the control and dispatch of total water consumption, increase the amount of fresh water flow into the sea and improve the ecosystems of estuaries and coastal marine waters. We will strengthen ecological development of sea-land transition zone and gradually restore eco functions of wetlands. We will identify ecology red line in sensitive or key areas of marine environment. Fourthly, we will enhance risk management and effectively prevent any marine environment disasters. We will establish the early warning mechanism and emergency response mechanism for marine environment accidents in the Bohai Sea, amend and improve relevant emergency response program. Fifth, we will improve the subject awareness and legal awareness of local governments and enterprises and carry out the responsibility for protection of marine environment. Sixth, we will enhance publicity and education and improve public initiative in participating environmental protection of the Bohai Sea. We will establish an open and transparent information release mechanism to accept social supervision.
The meeting discussed the suggestions on further strengthening environmental protection work. It stressed that we must take pollution control and ecological conservation at a more important position and practically address pre-eminent environmental problems threatening public health and affecting scientific development. To strengthen environmental protection and carry out each task on energy saving and emission reduction, we should do well the following major activities: (I) Strictly carry out EIA system. Any construction plan or project that shall carry out EIA according to law shall strictly abide by EIA procedures. EIA process should be open and transparent and fully solicit the comments and suggestions of experts and the public. In case of any environmental infringements such as beginning construction before the approval of EIA document and major change during construction process, relevant authority shall investigate the responsibility of the administrative department, enterprise and relevant people being responsible according to law. (II) Practically strengthen prevention and control of heavy metals pollution. Comprehensive measures should be taken to major regions, industries and enterprises for collective treatment. We will firmly ban any new, reform or expansion project in major prevention and control areas that aggravate pollution. We will properly handle the heavy metal pollution caused by past production and sudden pollution accidents and ensure public health and safety. (III) Carry out strict environmental management of chemicals. We will assessment the layout of chemical projects; investigate environmental risks of chemical manufacturers; carry out comprehensive control of chemical enterprises at the bank of sea, rivers and lakes and implement environment supervision responsibility and safety measures. We will raise environmental access to production of chemicals. (IV) Enhance rural environmental protection. We will carry out the policy of "employing reward as an incentive to facilitate pollution control"; collectively control the villages and towns with pre-eminent environmental problems, focusing on the treatment and control of soil pollution and pollution of drinking water source areas. We will facilitate the extension of environment infrastructure and services to rural areas; guide and help farmers to treat garbage and sewage in a proper way; employ pesticides, fertilizers and agricultural films in a scientific way, and practically reduce non-point pollution. We should carry out strict environment supervision on factories and mining companies in rural areas and firmly prevent the transfer of pollution to rural areas. (V) Accelerate the development of environment monitoring and early warning system, improve the emergency response mechanism for environmental accidents, raise capacity in emergency response management and practically prevent environmental risks. (VI) Improve environment laws and policy system. In view of recent problems due to various kinds of environmental accidents, we should develop and amend relevant laws and regulations as soon as possible and provide more complete and effective legal guarantee for environmental protection. We will further improve environmental policies, environment law enforcement coordination mechanism and raise supervision efficiency.

(This English version is for your reference only.In case any discrepancy exists between the Chinese and English context, the Chinese version shall prevail.)

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