OVERVIEW OF THE CURRENT SITUATION ON BROWNFIELD REMEDIATION AND REDEVELOPMENT IN CHINA - 2010 World Bank report

The report first highlights the fragmentation of the legal framework for site contamination. It concludes that a comprehensive legal and regulatory framework including a national law covering site contamination is needed to clearly define the responsibilities and liabilities regarding land Contamination and remediation, and provide clear and concise guidance for all stakeholders.

Secondly, due to the many different actors involved in site contamination –including various local and national governments, previous exploiters, local residents and potential investors– confusion between actors and authorities is a major problem. An example is that the relationship between land use planning (deciding the type of land use) and brownfield management (specifying remediation standards and requirements) is not clearly defined.

Thirdly, China needs to speed up its work to officially approve, release and implement a system of national standards and technical guidelines for the prevention and treatment of land contamination. Local authorities should also be encouraged to issue tougher standards based on local situations.

Fourthly, economic and financial instruments, such as environmental taxes, cleanup subsidies, loans, guarantees and market licenses, are necessary for establishing an effective management system to address the incentive and funding issues of brownfield management. Better and practical application of the “polluter pays” principle and clearly defined rules and funding channels between known stakeholders for the remediation and redevelopment of brownfield sites should be carefully analyzed in order to develop an effective system brownfield management.

Fifthly, China’s urgent need for urban land requires that efficient soil remediation be completed in a short period of time. Selection of suitable and cost-effective remediation technologies is a high priority. Soil remediation objectives should be considered in the selection of technology and remediation plans, and be specifically designed for each site according to its intended use and other specific circumstances. The country urgently needs to increase its R&D capacity, especially advanced software and hardware equipment in the fields of contaminated site monitoring, assessment and remediation. International exchange and training can help increase the talent pool.

Public awareness and participation are always one of the important elements in effective governance and administration of brownfield site management. As the first step, information should be made available to the public, in order to raise awareness and facilitate public participation in brownfield management.

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