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Seeking justice from pollution (2)

By Yan Shuang (Global Times)

11:13, October 31, 2012

A 'sensitive' bottleneck

Environmental authorities received more than 300,000 environmental petition appeals from 2006 to 2010, while just 1,100 of these were processed at court, Yang said at the lecture. When it comes to big projects that are beneficial for the local economy, appeals from pollution victims are sometimes turned down by courts for being too "sensitive," he noted.

This can lead to protests, which tend to begin with petitions, then when the government turns a blind eye to public appeals they grow into larger protests, said Cheng Yuyan, a law expert with the Guangdong Institute of Public Administration, who has studied China's environmental protests.

"As the situation regarding pollution gets worse, members of the public might use this as a chance to express dissatisfaction over other social problems," Cheng added.

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