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China to decouple govt from environment impact assessment by 2016

Updated: Dec 15,2016 7:34 AM     Xinhua

BEIJING — China will cut all connections between environment impact assessment (EIA) agencies and governments by the end of the year to ensure independent and fair project reviews, the Ministry of Environmental Protection said on Dec 14.

A total of 337 EIA agencies once affiliated with local governments have disconnected themselves and set up independent companies or canceling qualifications while the remaining 13 agencies will have their qualifications canceled by the end of December, according to Huang Runqiu, deputy head with the Ministry of Environmental Protection.

In early 2015 all government-affiliated EIA agencies were ordered to terminate all official connections by the end of 2016 to avoid corruption and conflict of interest.

Eight EIA agencies disconnected their government affiliations in 2015.

China is now home to 984 EIA agencies and 19,700 EIA engineers, up 90 percent compared with 2010.