“Regulations on the Administration of Compensation for Ecological and Environmental Damage”
On 28 April, the Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE), together with the Supreme Court, the Supreme Prosecutor, the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Ministry of Public Security, and a total of 14 other relevant departments, issued the “Regulations on the Administration of Compensation for Damage to the Ecological Environment”.
In promoting the implementation of the compensation system for ecological and environmental damage, the Regulations propose four aspects:
- to clarify the division of tasks among departments;
- to consolidate the responsibilities of local party committees and governments;
- to clarify the content of rewards and penalties;
- to standardize and unify work procedures.
The Regulations specify that the scope of compensation for ecological damage includes five aspects:
- clean-up costs;
- restoration costs;
- loss of service functions during ecological restoration;
- permanent damage to ecological functions;
- reasonable costs for investigation, appraisal and assessment.
The Regulations state that ecological damage is classified as either repairable or irreparable. For those that can be restored, they should be restored to the baseline level before ecological damage or to an acceptable level of ecological risk. For those that cannot be repaired, the person liable for compensation shall compensate for the relevant losses and related costs within the scope of compensation for ecological and environmental damage. Compensation shall be in accordance with the law, or subject to the relevant ecological restoration regulations and policies and planning, carry out alternative restoration to achieve equivalent restoration of the ecological environment and its service functions.
The significance of the Regulations lies in the fact that they set out the requirements and objectives for the next step of work, provide relevant institutional design and arrangements to address the outstanding issues in practice, and provide a strong institutional guarantee for the deepening of ecological and environmental damage compensation work.