Amendments On Environmental Law to Add More Agencies Allowed to File Lawsuits
A drafted amendment to the Environment Protection Law will make it easier for related agencies to file public interest lawsuits against polluters. Registered environmental agencies with the Ministry of Civil Affairs for more than five years and running, with good reputation can file for lawsuits against polluters.
Once the drafted amendment is approved there will be major changes to the law. Before only All China Environmental Federation were allowed to file public interest lawsuits. So far 13 agencies are qualified for lawsuits are soon as the amendments becomes a law. The drafted amendment will address the concerns of the federation is not capable of filing lawsuits because of its limited human and financial resources.
Environmental lawyers said that there are still problems that surround the drafted amendment to the environmental law which is the third one and the fourth draft is expected to happen this week. Among the drafted amendments is the stipulation that will determine who is qualified to file is the most contested one. The federation is a state supported nonprofit organization that is considered as the most capable environment agency to file public interest lawsuits.
By limiting the number of qualified organizations is understandable since the law is deem conservative, but concerns on the criteria on an environmental agency on having a good reputation is unclear on what type of reputation is good and what organization is entitled with this accreditation.