SEPA Halts Four Construction Projects for Disregarding Environmental Protection Laws

December 12, 2005

The State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) halted four construction projects during October in Liaoning and Guangdong provinces, and in Tianjin municipality, for violating environmental protection laws, according to an October 25 Xinhua article and an October 26 Beijing News article. The four construction sites either began operations or tested production lines before obtaining project completion inspections from the local environmental protection departments. The lapses violate the "Regulations on Environmental Management for Construction Projects" and the "Law on the Management of the Environmental Inspection of Completed Construction Projects," according to a SEPA press release carried on the agency’s Web site.

SEPA halted the first stage of one of the Liaoning projects and has not approved the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report for the second stage of the project, according to the press release. SEPA ordered the second Liaoning project to comply with environmental protection inspection procedures, and ordered the Guangdong project to halt the renovation of a production line and remove a boiler. The SEPA press release also reported that it would ensure that managers responsible for the Tianjin project, an expressway that would cross protected areas, follow proper procedures. If the project managers fail to comply, SEPA will require the expressway to be built along a new route. The halt of the projects are a part of SEPA's efforts to enforce China's environmental protection laws.