"Soil Pollution Control Action Plan" to be Issued to Open up Trillion Market

Tang Ke, director of the Department of Science, Technology and Education of the Ministry of Agriculture, recently revealed that "Soil Pollution Control Action Plan" is about to be launched. This also means that the campaign of soil pollution prevention and control in the three major campaigns will be officially launched soon after the "Air Pollution Control Action Plan" and "Water Pollution Control Action Plan" have been promulgated one after another.

The "Soil Pollution Control Action Plan" was jointly formulated by the Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Environmental Protection, the Ministry of Land and Resources, the Ministry of Agriculture and other ministries and commissions. It has also been listed as one of the key tasks of this year.

As an important plan for soil management and comprehensive prevention and control, the "Soil Pollution Control Action Plan" will formulate a specific "timetable" for soil pollution control in China. In general, soil pollution will be divided into agricultural land and construction land, and classified for regulatory management and protection, and strive to curb soil degradation by 2020. At the same time, the  government will also prepare a series of encouragement policies and gradually open the field of soil pollution control to social capital.

In developed countries, the soil remediation industry accounts for up to 35% of the output value of the environmental protection industry, but in China, the current figure is less than 1%. The “National Survey Report on Soil Pollution” issued in April 2014 pointed out that the overall state of the soil environment in China is not optimistic, and the national soil pollution rate exceeded 16.1%. Among them, the problem of arable land pollution is the most prominent. The rate of over-standard soil points reached 19.4%, and the area of polluted arable land was 1.5 trillion mu.

In the opinion of Mr. Zhang Yi, the director of Shanghai Environmental Sanitation Engineering Design Institute, the "Soil Pollution Control Action Plan" must have a phased control target at the national level. In addition, the action plan also needs to solve the problem of pollution control models.

The current three main governance models are: who is responsible for polluting, who is responsible for benefiting, and state responsibility. Professor Ma Zhong, Dean of the School of Environmental Studies at Renmin University of China, is optimistic about the prospects of PPP in the field of soil pollution control. This is an important condition for the management of soil pollution. Private funds were inaccessible when food had to be planted before, and PPP could not be made. Now the problem of PPP model can be solved by changing the crop planting structure. The repair of industrial sites mainly depends on commercial funds."

How big is the market space for soil pollution control in the future? According to Mr. Zhang Yi's analysis, the market size this year alone has exceeded 20 billion yuan, and next year it may exceed 30 billion yuan. The scale of China's soil remediation market should reach 10 trillion yuan in the future.

Mr. Gao Shengda, secretary general of the China Environmental Remediation Industry Alliance, predicts that the market will grow by at least 30% to 50% after the introduction of the "Soil Pollution Control Action Plan"

At present, 80%-90% of the soil remediation market is occupied by major leading companies, and there are about 2,000 companies competing for this market. Therefore, it is more common that the small and medium-sized enterprises' low-price bidding eventually fails to complete.

"The state advocates supply-side reform, and restoration is also a supply-side. In the future, the monopoly position of several leading companies will be broken, and it will not be singular. The service of soil restoration will develop in a diversified and diversified manner." Mr. Gao Shengda said .