Environmental specialist Fu Yuhang complimented achievements made by China's top legislature related to ecology and the environment last year, but she said the fight against pollution via legal means still needs to be strengthened.
The Wuhan section of the Yangtze River (Photo: Xinhua)
"I'm happy to see that our country adopted a series of environmental laws over the past few years, including those concerning air, water, soil and solid waste pollution prevention," said Fu, also a deputy to the 13th National People's Congress, from Sichuan province.
It means a legal framework to safeguard ecology and the environment has been basically built, she said.
As a researcher specializing in water quality control, Fu said the environment in her hometown of Zigong, Sichuan, has gradually improved thanks to the country's intensified efforts in environmental protection. These include the adoption of the Law on Air Pollution Prevention 2015 and the Water Pollution Prevention and Control Law, which took effect in January last year.
"We don't need to wear masks in winter as smoggy days have been reduced in recent years," she said.
But Fu is still worried about some pollution problems, including classification of trash and overuse of plastic bags.
"These problems urgently need to be regulated by laws," Fu said, adding that she plans to make related suggestions at the annual plenary session of the NPC, which is scheduled to open on March 5.
The deputy said she believes that environmental protection will remain a key topic at this year's legislative session.
"This year, I'm looking forward to more legally binding measures to regulate the use of plastic bags and reduce disposable goods in hotels, as well as a specialized inspection to see how the Solid Waste Law is adopted," she said.
The 13th NPC Standing Committee, which was elected in March, has listed such an inspection and a new law on noise pollution control on its five-year work agenda.
Additionally, a thorough review of the environment and ecology-related documents, including administrative regulations and relevant rules made by the top court, will be conducted this year to make sure they are consistent with the Constitution and laws.
The top leadership has made pollution control one of the "three tough battles" that China must win to achieve building a well-off society in an all-around way by 2020.
Yue Zhongming, an official with the NPC Standing Committee's Legislative Affairs Commission, said the top legislature is doing its part by intensifying legislation and law enforcement inspection in environmental protection.
In 2018, the Soil Pollution Prevention and Control Law was adopted after a unanimous vote. "Soil relates to people's food safety, and its protection also contributes to the nation's ecological quality," said Zhang Guilong, another official with the commission.
In July, the NPC Standing Committee also had a meeting at which environmental officials came to answer questions on air pollution from NPC deputies and committee members.