Lifelong liability for polluting officials in China

Environmental hazards caused by poor official decision-making will be traced back to whoever was originally responsible, and they will be punished with lifelong retroactive effect, under a new Communist Party of China (CPC) regulation.

Leading officials should bear primary responsibility for environmental damage in their jurisdiction and will be held accountable for major pollution incidents, it said.

Announced on Monday, the regulation took effect on Aug. 9, days before the massive deadly warehouse explosions in Tianjin, which are thought to have dispersed dangerous chemicals into the surrounding area.

The rules cover all leading members of CPC committees and governments above county level.

Punishments include sacking, demotion and public apology, and records of environmental misconduct should be disclosed to the public, the CPC said.

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