Guangzhou Mulls Fee for Pollution Discharge from Lights
    2010-04-21 11:10:10     CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Zhang Xu
 

The undated photo shows a night view of Beijing Road, one of the major commercial streets in Guangzhou, south China's Guangdong Province. [Photo: Agencies]

South China's Guangzhou city could become the first metropolis in the country to impose a levy on pollution discharges created by artificial lighting, the "Guangzhou Daily" reports.

"We are doing preparatory work for the levy policy on pollution discharges from lighting, and we will brief media on the concrete methods and implementation time as soon as possible," an official from the Guangzhou Municipal Price Control Bureau was quoted as saying.

Another official from the Guangzhou Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau told the "Guangzhou Daily" that the agency was not sure whether the local environmental protection department would be responsible for collecting the fees since there is no existing higher-level law in China for the imposition of such fees.

Li Mingguang, an expert with the Guangzhou Environmental Protection Science Research Institute, said pollution from lights is a form of environmental pollution in which excessive artificial outdoor lighting can affect the natural environment and human health. The areas of the city with serious light pollution include the downtown, roadways, KTV places and other public entertainment venues. The pollution mainly comes from neon lights, billboards, building walls covered with lights and street lamps.

Li said he believes if Guangzhou adopts the levy, it should first define lighting function divisions and the limits on pollution discharges according to local conditions.

Li Jianji, Director of the Guangdong Astronomical Society, opposes the taxation and prefers to control light pollution by cutting short the hours during which artificial lights can be used.

"The government could demand that strong artificial lights like neon lights should be turned off early or permit the lights to be used only on weekends or holidays," Li told the newspaper.

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