Over 16,000 public interest litigations in environmental protection handled in China

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BEIJING, June 5 (Xinhua) -- China's procuratorates have handled more than 16,000 public interest litigations in environment and resource protection cases from July 2015 to April this year, according to the Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP) Tuesday.

A total of 2,323 enterprises emitting waste gas and other air pollutants, and 1,991 enterprises responsible for environmental pollution other than air pollution have been closed or rectified in this period, the SPP said.

In June 2017, the top legislature passed amendments to the civil and administrative procedure laws to allow prosecutors to institute public interest litigation, which went into effect on July 1 2017.

The procuratorates have also closed 695 enterprises that had not gone through the environmental impact assessment, and closed and rectified 1,963 illegal farms during the period.

In July 2015, the SPP issued a pilot reform plan to allow procuratorates to initiate public interest litigations in 13 provincial regions. The reform aims to better protect the interests of the nation and the public, especially in protection of the environment and resources, and food safety among others.

During the same period, procuratorates across the country have restored 2.38 million mu (159,000 hectares) of damaged forests, farmland, grassland, and wetland, and recommended the clean-up of 547,000 mu (36,50 hectares) of polluted water resources, the SPP said.