Premier Wen Jiabao chaired the State Council Executive Meeting today, assigning soil environmental protection and integrated remediation tasks.
The meeting held that relevant State departments spent six years conducting the national survey on soil contamination, in accordance with the arrangements of the State Council. The survey results indicated that great attention needs to be paid to the soil environmental conditions and that human activities in the industrial, mining, and agricultural sectors are the primary causes of soil contamination. Accordingly, the meeting proposed to identify the protection of soil environment, prevention and mitigation of soil contamination, guarantee of farm produce quality, and development of friendly living environment as the main purposes for now and for a period of time to come; to figure out the soil environmental quality status, establish the soil environmental quality investigation and monitoring schemes, set up soil environmental quality monitoring network, improve relevant policies, legislations and standards, implement "soil environmental protection projects", work faster to establish national soil environmental protection system, and gradually improve the soil environmental quality.
The meeting identified the following tasks: a) strictly protect the soil environment of farmlands and source water areas; define priority regions for protection of soil environment, keep files for soil protection and establish evaluation mechanisms. The State will introduce the policy of “offering rewards as incentives for soil protection” and support the treatment of industrial and mining pollution as well as agricultural pollution sources. b) tighten the control of soil pollutants at the source; step up the environmental supervision during the agricultural production process, control the pollution by industrial and mining businesses, and enhance the environmental management of municipal wastewater treatment facilities and soils in the vicinity. c) strictly control the environmental risks of contaminated soils; organize the environmental monitoring of soil samples and quality testing of farm produce from contaminated farmlands, strengthen the environmental regulation of contaminated sites, and set up a mandatory survey and evaluation scheme on soil environment. d) treat and remedy contaminated soils; carry out integrated contaminated soil remediation projects in typical regions, with the focus on contaminated farmlands and sites. e) enhance the soil environment supervision capacity; deepen the background survey on soil environment, and give more S&T supports to soil environmental protection effort.
The meeting required identifying the businesses as the main player for protection of soil environment; giving full play to the market-oriented mechanism, channeling social funds into soil environmental protection field, and guiding and encouraging the public to support and participate in soil environmental protection effort.
(This English version is for your reference only.In case any discrepancy exists between the Chinese and English context, the Chinese version shall prevail.)