On the afternoon of August 31st 2018, the Fifth Session of the 13th NPC Standing Committee held a plenary session and voted on various bills. The conference approved the Soil Pollution Prevention and Control Act by a unanimous vote of 171, which will take effect from January 1, 2019. The law provides that if the soil pollution damages the national, social or public interests, the relevant authorities and organizations could file lawsuits to the people's courts in accordance with the environmental protection law, the civil procedure law and the administrative procedure law. Vice director of the Administrative Law Office of the Standing Committee of the NPC, Zhang Guilong comments that China's previous laws have put forward some requirements on preventing soil pollution, but these requirements are still relatively principles, decentralized and merely focusing on prevention. So  how to deal with existing pollution in soil remains a problem and calls for new norms to regulate soil pollution. As the pollution to soil is disguised, accumulative and usually lags, for a long while it has been ignored. Concerning the harsh environment in China, it is an urgency to counter the matter of soil pollution. In this new law, a number of targeted regulations  have been incorporated, including tamping the main responsibility of enterprises, strengthening the responsibility of "polluters", increasing penalties, and integrating the prevention for both soil and water. What’s more, the law clarifies the main responsibility of local people's governments for the safe use of soil, the ecological environment and the  supervision and management responsibility of related departments, to form a joint effort in soil pollution prevention and control, and to establish an accountability mechanism. The news media and the public are also encouraged to supervise the illegal activities of soil pollution prevention and control.

The National People's Congress of the Republic of China