BEIJING, April 24 (Xinhua) -- The Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress (NPC), the country's top legislature, on Thursday voted to adopt revisions to the Environmental Protection Law.
With 70 articles compared with 47 in the original law, the revised Environmental Protection Law, the first change to the legislation in 25 years, sets environmental protection as the country's basic policy.
The new law says that economic and social development should be coordinated with environmental protection and encourages studies on the impact environmental quality causes on public health, urging prevention and control of pollution-related diseases.
It says that the country should establish and improve an environment and health monitoring, survey and risk assessment mechanism.
The law gives harsher punishments to environmental wrongdoing, and has specific articles and provisions on tackling smog, making citizen's more aware of environmental protection and protecting whistleblowers.
It says citizens should adopt a low-carbon and frugal lifestyle and perform environmental protection duties, and nominates June 5 as Environment Day.
The public is encouraged to observe environmental protection laws and make their own efforts in this regard, including sorting their garbage for recycling.
The revised law will go into effect from Jan. 1, 2015.
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