On December 27, 2021, China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment published 10 major cases on ecological and environmental damage compensation on its official website. According to “Ecological and Environmental Damage Compensation System Reform Plan” released by the State Council in 2017, ecological and environmental damage refers to any action that adversely affects the atmosphere, surface water, groundwater, soil, etc. due to environmental pollution. The Plan stipulates that the government will pursue liability for ecological and environmental damages in the event of a relatively large and sudden environmental accident, or in the event of environmental pollution in No-Development Zones.
Each summary of some of the 10 cases are shown below.
Ecological damage compensation case of air pollution caused by 3 enterprises in Yuanjiang City, Hunan Province
In December 2020, Ecology and Environment Bureau of Yiyang City in Hunan Province conducted an inspection and found that three companies in the city of Yuanjiang were emitting air pollutants in excess of the allowable limits. According to the report, the particulate matter emitted by the companies was 9 to 20 times higher than the allowable limit. Ecology and Environment Bureau of Yiyang City has punished the three companies for their illegal activities and started the process of compensation for environmental damages. After determining compensation amount based on relevant regulations and expert evaluations, and based on discussions with the concerned parties, the three companies were ordered to pay damages of RMB 55,300 yuan (about USD 8,676 ), RMB 102,400 (about USD 16,066), and RMB 130,000 (about USD 20,397), respectively.
Ecological and environment damage compensation case due to illegal wastewater discharged by a certain company in Fengtai district, Beijing
In May 2018, an inspection by Ecology and Environment Bureau of Fengtai District, Beijing found that a company was using methods to evade controls to discharge sewage that exceeded the allowable limits. In April 2019, a fine of RMB 500,000 was imposed on the company. Afterwards, an investigation was conducted by the ecological environmental damage compensation team, and the damage caused by the company was assessed at RMB 19,567,200 yuan (about USD 3,070,093). After several rounds of discussions, it was decided that the company would invest in the construction of sewage external discharge, upgrading and modification of sewage treatment plants, and maintenance of the city’s public piping network. In other words, in this case, the company assumed the responsibility for ecological and environmental damages by carrying out the relevant restoration work on its behalf.
The original text of the above can be viewed at the following URL (in simplified Chinese)