China will issue a revised set of soil quality standards this year as part of efforts to combat soil pollution, the Ministry of Environmental Protection has announced.
The new standards will set detailed requirements for farmland and land for construction, said Wu Xuefang, head of the Environmental Standards Institute, which is part of the Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences, a ministry think tank.
The current standards, in place since 1995, are outdated and need to be revised to support a national campaign against soil pollution launched in May last year, added Zou Shoumin, head of science and technology standards for the ministry.
Both officials were speaking at the ministry’s regular media briefing on May 23.
Zou said China will issue between 800 and 1,000 “strict new or revised standards” to control pollution, especially air and water pollution, during the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-20).
He added that the ministry will allocate 13 million to 15 million yuan ($1.9 million to 2.2 million) a year to support research on environmental protection.
The central government has issued 2,038 national standards on environmental protection, with 1,735 now in force.
“We have adopted strict standards on the discharge of air and water pollutants, matching those used in major developed countries,” Zou said.