Between Nov. 17 and 18, Vice Minister Zhai Qing went on an inspection tour to Dalian to check the public access to environmental infrastructure.
This is part of the Ministry’s efforts to put into action the guiding principles of the 19th National Congress of the CPC and a joint piloting program with MHURD to provide the public with the access to environmental infrastructure.
At the Si’ergou Wastewater Treatment Plant run by Everbright Water, Zhai walked along the route for public visit, observed the environmental facilities accessible to the general public, and talked with the visitors. Then he visited Taida Municipal Solid Waste Incineration Power Plant and gave recognition to the plant’s preemptive consideration of public visit in its blueprint. At Dalian Municipal Environmental Monitoring Center, Zhai observed the environmental equipment and environmental condition display system and heard a report on public visit.
At a symposium that followed, Zhai heard the reports on the city’s experience in providing the public with the access to environmental infrastructure. Zhai pointed out that the availability of public access to environmental infrastructure is very meaningful to the protection of the environment and the growth of environmental industries. On the one hand, it helps raise the public awareness. On the other hand, it provides the public right to know, right to supervise, and right to participate, put the pollution control facilities under the public scrutiny, and effectively uplift the environmental governance level. In the meantime, it helps raise the public acknowledgment and trust in pollution control, and prevent and solve the “not in my back yard” issues. To put the environmental infrastructure under public scrutiny facilitates the fulfillment of environmental responsibilities and promotes the long-term development of the industries.
In the next step, the access will be institutionalized and standardized, said Zhai. Specifications on the public access items, areas, steps, and pamphlets will be nailed down. The local governments, institutions and industries will be encouraged to improve the specifications based on their own conditions. Coordination and support institutions will be further perfected to ensure sustainability and stability.