Not the right move to curb pollution

Updated: 2014-04-22 07:21

By MARIE (China Daily)

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Comment on "Pollution discharge fees to rise dramatically" (China Daily, April 16)

I don't agree with the method of collecting pollution discharge fee to deal with the environmental problem. Why should the money collected be called "fee" rather than "fine"? Is the fee a penalty that factories polluting and endangering our environment have to pay? Or, is it an amount polluters need to pay to continue polluting our air, water and soil as they wish, without any punishment?

It's also ridiculous to hear that it's a "commercial way" of checking pollution - the simplistic assumption being that enterprises may stop polluting when they can't afford to pay the discharge fee. If so, why have the environmental authorities set a maximum ceiling for the discharge fee?

Does it mean that if the enterprises are rich enough to pay the maximum fee, they can pollute our air, water and soil as much as possible and nobody can stop them? It seems more like a measure to allow local environmental authorities to collect money than a move to curb pollution.

I also don't like the idea of managing the environment after allowing enterprises (and other entities) to pollute it. It's understandable that local authorities are under great pressure to maintain or increase local economies' GDP growth and create more jobs, which they cannot do if they immediately shut down the polluting plants and factories.

But we shouldn't focus on short-term interests at the cost of long-term social well-being. How much will it cost in the future to clean the environment that we pollute today? I'm sure it will cost much, much more than the money that environmental protection authorities collect today.

That is why I suggest the authorities change their mind and method to reduce pollution as soon as possible.

MARIE, via e-mail

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