Sichuan’s first case of ecological environment damage compensation case opens court

“the village is full of pungent smell. Many old people, children and pregnant women live among them. Who is responsible for them?” At about 12:00 on August 18, the half day trial was coming to an end. As the litigation agent of the plaintiff Ziyang Ecological Environment Bureau, Kou Chunyan, a public lawyer from the Provincial Ecological Environment Department, was giving his final opinion. After more than three hours of confrontation between

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, the civil litigation case of “government suing the people” completed its first trial in Ziyang on the same day, which was the first civil case of ecological environmental damage compensation in Sichuan.

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in October 2017, in weijiaba village, zhongzhongchang Town, Lezhi county, a tanker overturned and hazardous chemicals leaked, polluting the local soil, surface water and groundwater. 217 farmers were affected and the damage was identified as more than 4.4 million yuan. After the accident, the tanker driver and the responsible unit were given criminal punishment and administrative fine, but it was far from enough to make up for the loss. How to claim for compensation has become a difficult problem.

“you don’t care, I don’t care, and finally everyone doesn’t care. It’s easy to form a” tragedy of the Commons. ” Zhang Guanghe, director of the sixth procuratorial department of Ziyang people’s Procuratorate, said that it was a “magic weapon” to avoid “tragedy of the commons” that relevant organs and social organizations stipulated by law should file a lawsuit with the people’s court to safeguard public interests. On the day of

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, appointed by Ziyang people’s Procuratorate, Zhang Guanghe appeared in court to support the plaintiff’s prosecution, and issued a supporting opinion in court. The particularity of

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ecological environment damage is that once the damage is caused, the repair cost is very high Chen Mingyang, a forensic expert at Sichuan Academy of ecological and Environmental Sciences, told reporters that since 2018, the state has tried out the ecological environment damage compensation system, giving the government the right and obligation to claim compensation. He hopes that when the criminal punishment and administrative punishment are insufficient to make up for the damage, the civil liability will be investigated to increase the illegal cost and make up for the repair cost.

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in the past two years, Kou Chunyan and her colleagues have handled 28 cases of compensation for ecological environment damage, most of which have achieved ideal results through consultation. After Lezhi case occurred, Ziyang ecological environment bureau came forward to claim for compensation according to the designation of Ziyang Municipal People’s government. However, due to the large amount of compensation and disputes, and the negotiation failed, it finally entered the litigation procedure, becoming the first case of ecological environmental damage compensation lawsuit in Sichuan, and Kou Chunyan took the plaintiff’s seat for the first time.

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Kou Chunyan told reporters that different from criminal litigation and administrative litigation, the plaintiff and the defendant are in equal civil subject status in civil litigation. The only way to win is to get the approval of the collegiate bench through cross examination of evidence and interpretation of law.

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are on the opposite dock. In addition to the driver of the tank car who has been sentenced, the affiliated unit of the tank car, the underwriting unit, the storage unit of dangerous chemicals and the shipping unit have arranged the litigation agent to appear in court. During the trial, there was a long-term debate on whether the defendants had fault, the proportion of responsibility between the defendants, and whether the amount of compensation was reasonable. By the end of the trial, it was close to 1 p.m.

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seats were empty. As a representative of the affected area, Chen Bin made a special trip from Lezhi to come here. While hearing the case, he took out his mobile phone to consult the legal texts. “We are not familiar with litigation, but the government is very professional in claiming compensation, and today’s performance in court is awesome.” He said he hoped that the trial could speed up the promotion of ecological environment restoration, so that farmland could be restored as soon as possible and drinking water could be more assured.

“the polluters of the ecological environment, as well as the third-party enterprises at fault, should be responsible for these victims and for the restoration of the local ecological environment.” Kou Chunyan said that in the past, it has become normal for enterprises to pollute, the masses suffer, and the government pays for bills. Such a dilemma must be broken. “When the government acts as the plaintiff, it will better safeguard the rights and interests of the masses and the public interest by putting down its” body image “in a lawsuit

(reporter Wu you, Liu Hongshun)

original title: Sichuan’s first ecological environment damage compensation lawsuit opened