August 6, 2008

China’s Environment Watchdog Expands

China's environment watchdog expands

BEIJING, Aug. 5 (Xinhua) -- The Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) has expanded, with three new departments.

These are the Department for Control of Pollutant Discharge, the Environment Monitoring Department, and the Department of Publicity and Education.

"The reshuffle is conducive to the historic improvement of environmental protection," said Zhou Shengxian, minister of the MEP, at the ministry's mobilization meeting on July 25.

"We would aim to strengthen our roles in coordination, policy- making, law-enforcement, and public service," Zhou added.

The expansion was approved by the State Council on July 10 and the MEP announced the results last Friday.

"The approval of our re-arrangement reflected the central government's greater concern about the environmental protection," said Zhou.

The move highlighted the ministry's duties to prevent pollution at its source, react to environmental incidents and reduce emission.

The expansion also clarified the MEP's role in prevention and control of water pollution.

The expanded ministry now has 14 bodies under its name while its personnel remained unchanged.

The MEP was established on March 27 this year. It developed from the previous State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA).

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