(Yicai Global) Dec. 21 – As the worst air pollution hit many cities and provinces in North China, some residents in Beijing and several neighboring cities resorted to legal remedies, and sued the local governments for failing to fulfill their statutory duties to reduce air pollution, which they said consequently caused recurrent heavy air pollution in the region. They demanded a public apology and CNY9,999 (USD1,438) in damages from the governments.
Five residents in Beijing, Hebei and Tianjin brought lawsuits against the local authorities, demanding the local courts pronounce ineffective air pollution prevention and control on the part of the local governments in Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei illegal and order the governments to restore air quality to acceptable levels within a reasonable time limit, The Paper reported yesterday.
A Beijing-based lawyer, Cheng Hai, submitted an indictment to the No. 4 Intermediate People's Court in Beijing, requesting compensation for his purchases of anti-fog masks of CNY65, and demanding written apologies from local authorities. "Consent should be obtained from the plaintiffs regarding the contents of the apologies, and the apologies should be published on major local newspapers and on the internet for seven days," the lawyer said. They also demanded CNY9,999 in compensation for mental damage.
The other four complainants are Yu Wensheng from Beijing, Ma Wei from Tianjin, and Li Weida and Lu Tingge from Hebei.
Li and Ma said that they submitted the suits by express courier to the No. 2 Intermediate People's Court in Tianjin and the Intermediate People's Court in Shijiazhuang over the past two days. Claims and complaints contained in their indictments are similar to those filed by Cheng Hai.
The courts have yet to confirm the receipt or filing of the cases.