Zhejiang Province issued the first provincial regulation on river chiefs system

regulate river chiefs’ responsibilities and improve working mechanism

Journalist: Zhu Zhixiang, Yan Liyang


Recently, a news conference on the implementation of Zhejiang Province River Chiefs System Regulation was held by the people’s congress of Zhejiang Province and Water Environment Governance Office (River Chief Office). It is the first provincial regulation on river chiefs system which has been put into force since October 1 this year.

Mr.Yuan Rongxiang, Deputy Director General of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress of Zhejiang Province, introduced that the Regulation aimed at addressing institutional problems of river chief system with regard to lacking urgently needed legal support in practice clearly specified on related issues, including the positioning of river chief system, the establishment of various levels of river chiefs and organizations and their corresponding responsibilities, river chief identified problem solving mechanism, legal liability of river chiefs and etc.. Meanwhile, the Regulation drew upon effective experience and practices from river chiefs’ patrol, publicity, and reward system, as well as information sharing and communication mechanism between river chiefs and responsible departments, and formulated a series of specific rules, which effectively demonstrated the 3 major guiding principles and legislative spirit, including clarifying responsibilities of river chiefs, governments and relevant responsible departments, differentiating in terms of responsibilities and problem solving mechanism of various levels of river chiefs, and balancing river chiefs’ responsibilities and rights. The issuing and implementation of the Regulation is a significant measure by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress of Zhejiang Province to legislate for the purpose of reform decisions and guarantee the implementation of major decisions by the rule of law. All regions and departments in Zhejiang Province should strengthen the sense of mission and responsibility to organize the study activities seriously, conduct the publicity extensively, intensify the communication and coordination, and finally do a good job in regulation implementation.

Mr. Wang Yimiao, Deputy Director General of Zhejiang Province Environmental Protection Bureau and Water Environment Governance Office of Zhejiang Province (River Chief Office), said in the announcing of the implementation progress of River Chief System that Zhejiang Province was one of the earliest provinces to implement the River Chief System in China. Since 2008, after more than ten years of efforts, the River Chief System has been deeply rooted in people’s heart and steadily promoted, and there are more than 57,000 river chiefs at provincial, municipal, county, township and village levels, which has covered big rivers and small and micro waters, and formed a water pollution control system and a long-term mechanism with the river chief system as the core. The water environment has been improved continuously. In the first half of 2017, the surface water pollution control section of the province accounted for 81% of the class III, 17.2 percentage points higher than that of 2013. Waters with Grade V accounted for 0.9%, 11.3 percentage points lower compared to 2013.

Source: China Environment News

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