August 26, 2002


Law Enacted to Prevent Soil Contamination

Keywords: Chemicals Government 

Japan recently enacted the Soil Contamination Countermeasures Law which obligates land owners to investigate and clean contaminated soil. It is the country's first law that regulates soil contamination in urban areas, and will enter into force in January, 2003. Companies that handle chemicals will be required to comply with the new law. There are three pillars in the new law:

1. When the condition of the soil ceases to be monitored due to a factory closedown, or when a prefectural governor judges that human health may be negatively affected, the land owners can be required to investigate for soil contamination.

2. If soil contamination exceeds a certain level, the prefectural governor must classify the land as a "designated area" and disclose the information to the public by recording the change in the land registry.

3. If there is a risk to human health, the prefectural governor is to order the land owner to take actions, which may include cleaning it up or covering the soil, etc.

Posted: 2002/08/26 03:48:53 PM
Japanese version