On July 20, 2016 the Dezhou Intermediate Peoples’ Court (Shandong Province) ruled in favor of the All China Environment Federation in their lawsuit against the Zhenhua Glass Company, Ltd. for its failure to control atmospheric emissions of pollutants including sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, and fine particulate matter. The court ordered Zhenhua to pay approximately $3.3 million USD into a fund for air quality restoration, and make a public apology on a local television station.
Environmental public interest litigation (EPIL) is still less than two years old in China, and this case is an encouraging sign that courts in China are taking these types of matters seriously. However, there are still many issues that need to be worked out in order to make EPIL an effective tool to help China address its environmental challenges. For a deeper analysis of this case with commentary from our partner Global Environmental Institute and from our own team, please follow this link.