Three years after China declared war on pollution, lawmakers are reviewing a draft Soil Pollution Prevention and Control Law.
The draft promises funds and a nationwide soil condition census once every ten years.
Explaining the draft to lawmakers at the start of the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee's bi-monthly session, Luo Qingquan, deputy head of the NPC's environment and resources protection committee, said China is facing a grim situation in terms of its soil condition.
Soil pollution must be addressed as it is a substantial obstacle on the way to building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, he said.
A strict environmental protection system will help improve soil quality, ensure safe agricultural produce, public health and sustainability of soil resources, while protecting and improving the environment, he said.
According to the draft, all entities and individuals have an obligation to prevent soil pollution, and will be held accountable for damage caused. There will be national standards for soil pollution risk control.
A network of monitoring stations will be established with data and other information collected shared among environmental, agricultural, housing, forestry, health, and land resource authorities.
Soil condition information will be published by environmental protection authorities, who must submit pollution prevention plans to central and local governments for approval.
The draft requires all construction that may cause soil contamination to be preceded by environmental impact evaluations and appropriate precautions taken.
Enterprises involved in production, utilization, storage, transport, recycling and disposal of pollutants must monitor and report to authorities their annual discharge and transfer volume and prevent toxic substances from entering the soil.
Local environmental authorities must regularly test soil around such enterprises and around sewage treatment and solid waste disposal facilities to prevent contamination.