February 13, 2003
A bill on Special Measures concerning Removal of Environmental Problems Caused by Specified Industrial Wastes is to be approved by the Cabinet at its meeting on February 14, 2003 and submitted to the 156th Diet session. Inappropriate disposal of industrial wastes, such as illegal dumping, have caused environmental problems in the past, and public distrust regarding the management of industrial wastes is threatening to impede the establishment of a sound material-cycle society. The law will enable prefectural governments to receive financial support from the national government and to conduct special measures, including the issuance of local bonds, for a certain period of time, in order to cover costs necessary to carry out removal programs systematically and steadily.
|The bill passed the Diet on June 11, 2003 without any changes and was promulgated on June 18, 2003.
Inappropriate disposal of industrial wastes, such as illegal dumping, has not only caused environmental problems but has also incurred public distrust even towards the appropriately disposed industrial wastes. This distrust stems from the fact that the illegally dumped industrial wastes were left obviously unattended.
The 1997 Revised Waste Management and Public Cleansing Law demands stricter responsibility of waste discharging companies, strengthens penalties for those who commit inappropriate disposal of wastes and creates a fund from contributions made by businesses, which is aimed at restoring dump sites to their original state. It is those wastes that were dumped illegally before the implementation of this law that have caused problems on the surrounding living environments for a long period of time and have become a symbol of public distrust, one that is a major factor impeding the creation of a sound material-cycle society.
Addressing industrial wastes inappropriately disposed of before the 1997 Revised Waste Management and Public Cleansing Law, the bill will be submitted to the current ordinary Diet session so that prefectural governments, and municipalities with a public health office, can obtain financial support from the national government and can issue local bonds to bear the costs necessary to systematically and steadily carry out programs to remove or prevent occurrence of a difficulty for conservation of the living environment (hereinafter referred to as "removal of environmental problems").
II. Overview of the Law
In order to promote removal of environmental problems caused by specified industrial wastes systematically and steadily, the law stipulates matters concerning fundamental policy to be established by the Minister of the Environment, special measures that enable prefectural governments to conduct specified programs so that the health of the public is protected and the surrounding living environment be conserved.
2. Fundamental policy and implementation plan concerning the promotion of removal of environmental problems
In order to systematically and steadily promote the removal of environmental problems that affect surrounding living environment caused by inappropriate disposal of industrial wastes that occurred before the enforcement of the 1997 Revised Waste Management and Public Cleansing Law, the Minister of the Environment sets a fundamental policy establishing basic directions for the promotion of specified problem removal programs and announces the details of such programs and other measures to be conducted by prefectural governments between FY2003 and FY2012.
In accordance with the fundamental policy, prefectural governments shall set forth implementation plans that state the scope of cases and the details of programs to remove environmental problems caused by specified industrial wastes.
3. Financial support from the national government for specified problem removal programs
When prefectural governments carry out specified problem removal programs in accordance with the implementation plans, the national government shall be able to provide financial support to the Center for Promoting Appropriate Disposal of Industrial Waste, if the Center, as stipulated in the Waste Management and Public Cleansing Law, contributes money to the programs.
4. Special case of issuing local bonds in relation to specified problem removal programs
Prefectural governments shall be able to acquire financial resources needed to carry out specified problem removal programs in accordance with the implementation plans by issuing local bonds as a special case stipulated in the Local Government Finance Law.
|Outline of the Law on Special Measures concerning Removal of Environmental Problems Caused by Specified Industrial Wastes