In this case, the court found that from January 2012 to February 2013, the six enterprises provided nearly 26,000 metric tons of waste acid to individuals who were not qualified to handle hazardous waste. The individuals dumped the waste acid directly into domestic rivers and caused serious pollution. The court therefore awarded damages of about RMB161,000 (about US$26,000) as the amount necessary for environmental restoration in that area.
It is reportedly the largest amount of damages Chinese courts have ever awarded in a public interest lawsuit. In addition to the significantly large amount of damages the court ordered, the Taizhou Case is notable because of the willingness of the court to accept the standing of an environmental protection organization just founded to bring such a lawsuit in the public interest.
(Contribution: Professor Tianbao QIN, Tang HE, and Han GAO, Research Institute of Environmental Law, Wuhan University, China )