China urges improved environmental information disclosure

The Ministry of Environmental Protection has urged local authorities to be more transparent when providing information related to the environment, especially data regarding potentially hazardous construction projects.

In a circular newly published on its website, the ministry told local authorities to disclose more information regarding administrative reviews and approvals for related projects.

In cases of major projects that may involve the public’s vital interests, information should be disclosed to a wider spectrum of people and decisions should be made after listening to public comments, the circular said.

The circular also asked authorities to release information regarding environmental inspections of key industries, public companies and construction projects, as well as the operation of pollution control facilities and the import and processing of solid waste.

Relevant authorities were told to publish environmental monitoring information, such as data related to air quality, water quality and major pollutants.

A list of enterprises with substandard environmental practices should also be made public, the circular said.

The circular also asked authorities to disclose more information regarding serious environmental emergencies, as well as improve their ability to respond to them.

The ministry asked environmental authorities to use their official websites to disclose information and maintain contact with the public.

Xinhua