China China Passed the “Administrative Regulations on the Pollutant Emission Permit (Draft)

Strengthen Penalties by Stipulating Classification Management Based on Pollutant Emissions

At the State Council Executive Meeting of China held on December 9, 2020, the “Administrative Regulations on the Pollutant Emission Permit (Draft)” was passed. The draft was released in November, 2018 for comments, after two years’ solicitation of opinions, the Regulations will be officially promulgated shortly.

In January 2018, the “Management Measures on the Pollutant Emission Permit” was promulgated, as the pollutant emission permit management system had not been established, the illegal acts such as discharging pollutants without obtaining the permit or discharging pollutants without following the items stated in the permit often occurred. In order to solve these problems, there was an urgent need to enact the “Administrative Regulations on the Pollutant Emission Permit “.

In China’s legal system, the “Management Measures on the Pollutant Emission Permit” is belongs to “Department Regulations” (equivalent to the Japanese Ministerial Ordinance), while the “Administrative Regulations on the Pollutant Emission Permit” is belongs to “Administrative Regulations” (equivalent to the Japanese Cabinet Order), through the enactment of the regulation, the legal status of the pollutant emission permit management system get upgraded.

Key Points of the “Administrative Regulations on the Pollutant Emission Permit”

  • The regulation stipulates that pollutant dischargers should be classified and managed based on the amount of pollutants generated or discharged and the degree of impact on the environment.
  • The procedures for applying for and approving pollutant emission permit has been clearly defined.
  • Requirements for businesses such as ledger management system and disclosure of emission information has been stipulated.
  • Penalties for illegal acts have been strengthened (the following is an example).
  • If a company violates the rules regarding ledger records, it will be ordered to correct the illegal act, and at the same time, it will be fined from 1,000 yuan (about 16,000 yen) to 20,000 yuan (about 320,000 yen) for each day. If the company refused to make corrections, from the second day when the correction is ordered, it will be issued consecutive daily fines based on the amount of fine.

According to the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, more than 341,000 pollutant emission permits have been issued at present, and more than 2.5 million companies have completed pollutant emission registration.