China tightens environment rules for coast projects

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BEIJING, Oct 5 (Reuters) China has amended regulations to require environmental impact assessments for coastal construction projects, the official Xinhua news agency reported today.

The amendment, which takes effect on January 1, requires reports on the marine impact of all coastal projects, including rebuilding and expansion projects, before they win environmental approval.

''The report should include environmental assessments of the project's location and the sea area, the impact on the marine environment during and after construction, and measures that will be taken for environmental protection and their feasibility,'' Xinhua said.

Project managers will face prosecution if they refuse or prevent inspections by authorities or implement projects without environmental protection facilities.

China is trying to slow environmental devastation caused by frenetic industrialisation, in the face of increasing public anger over foul air and water.

The country's southern coast is routinely hit by marine algal blooms commonly known as ''red tides'' that can devastate marine life and are exacerbated by coastal run-off from fertilisers and untreated human waste.

REUTERS JK RN1632

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