It is not uncommon for technological advances to present issues not contemplated by existing environmental laws. For example, as China struggles to meet growing energy demand and reduce its use of coal, its government, in conjunction with major oil companies, has pushed aggressively to develop its shale gas resources—the largest in the world. As of 2012, no regulations governing the specific problems of fracking had been written, even as shale gas development proceeded. In 2014, China scaled back its shale output goals due to geological challenges.
China greatly enhanced its public participation requirements by adding Chapter 5, Environmental Information Disclosure and Public Participation, in its 2014 revisions to its Environmental Protection Law. Under article 56, “The project owner of a construction project for which an environmental information report should be prepared pursuant to the law shall explain relevant situations to the potentially affected public when preparing the report, and solicit public opinions.