The Laws, Policies, and Politics of Regulating Lead Pollution in China
Frontiers of Law in China, Vol. 9, No. 2, June 2014
23 Pages Posted: 16 Feb 2015
Date Written: June 1, 2014
This article examines the politics, laws and policies related to regulating lead pollution from lead-acid battery related manufacturing facilities in China. Particularly, this paper examines how China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) was able to force the temporary closure of nearly 90 percent of lead-battery manufacturing facilities within a period of months in 2011, after years of enforcement failures. The authors analyze the extent to which the Government’s response to address lead pollution was based on laws and policies that can be systematically and consistently deployed by MEP as needed, or whether such measures are reliant on political will from outside MEP. Additionally, the authors are concerned with the extent to which China’s governance response to lead pollution primarily addresses environmental and public health issues; or rather it primarily addresses political and economic development issues, and whether this difference is significant. The article makes suggestions for how China can improve its environmental enforcement, and in so doing, contributes to a growing field of scholarship that examines environmental governance issues in the context of developing countries.
Keywords: china, pollution, lead, environment, governance, law
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