Companies or individuals who cause pollution on farmland or at construction sites could be hit with fines of up to 2 million yuan (7,000) if a new law is approved.
China's top legislators began giving a draft law on soil pollution prevention and control its first read on Thursday at a bimonthly session of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress.
The draft has 94 articles over nine chapters and clarifies the responsibilities of governments, companies and the public. It also covers standards, monitoring, risks assessments, restoration of polluted land, and punishments for violations.
If approved, those found discharging sewage, sludge or other waste containing heavy metals or other pollutants into farmland will receive fines ranging from 500,000 to 2 million yuan.