For the second time, Beijing environmental organization, Yuantou Aihaozhe Environmental Institute (源头爱好者环境研究所) has lost a lawsuit against the Hangzhou Environmental Protection Bureau (杭州市环保局) for not disclosing information on local waste incineration plants. Yuantou Aihaozhe Environmental Institute had asked for the Hangzhou Environment Protection Bureau to disclose the Environmental Impact Assessment Report necessary for the approval of the waste incineration electricity generation project in Binjiang District, Hangzhou, as well as the plant’s atmospheric and dioxin monitoring reports and other information about the emissions of this waste incineration program for the 2005-2013 period.
In 2013 when the complaints were first raised, the court used non-disclosure obligations of the defendant to dismiss the claims. On June 15, the Hangzhou Intermediate People’s Court dismissed the appeal and upheld the original verdict.
Reflecting on the recent legal proceedings of this case, Professor Li Dun, legal scholar at Tsinghua University’s Research Center for Contemporary China, explained that according to information available on the government’s website, citizens have the right to require the publication of a more complete information chain. Professor Li believes that the Hangzhou Environmental Protection Bureau should be responsible for the information and convey it to the public.