On December 31, 2020, China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment released a total of 6 recommended national standards (GB/T) related to identification and assessment of environmental damage. They will come into force from January 1, 2021. The name of the 6 standards is as follows.
- Technical guidelines for identification and assessment of environmental damage—General principles and key components —Part 1：General principles（GB/T 39791.1-2020）
- Technical guidelines for identification and assessment of environmental damage—General principles and key components —Part 2：Damage Investigation（GB/T 39791.2-2020）
- Technical guideline for identification and assessment of environmental damage—Environmental elements —Part 1: Soil and groundwater (GB/T 39792.1—2020)
- Technical guideline for identification and assessment of environmental damage—Environmental elements—Part 2: Surface water and sediment (GB/T 39792.2—2020)
- Technical guidelines for identification and assessment of environmental damage—Principal methods—Part 1：imputed abatement cost for air pollution(GB/T 39793.1—2020)
- Technical guidelines for identification and assessment of environmental damage—Principal methods —Part 2：imputed abatement cost for water pollution(GB/T 39793.2—2020)
The following is a summary of GB/T 39791.1-2020, which sets forth the general principles.
- Definition of Terms
- Ecological Damage
- Adverse changes that occur in environmental elements such as ambient air, surface water, sediment, soil, groundwater, and seawater, as well as in biological elements such as plants, animals, and microorganisms, caused by environmental pollution and ecosystem destruction, as well as functional degeneration and activity reduction of ecosystems composed of the above elements.
- Assessment Procedure for Environmental Damage
- The assessment is implemented in accordance with the following procedures.
- Establishment of working plan → Confirmation of damage investigation→ Analysis of causal relationship → Quantification of damaged objects → Quantification of damage value → Preparation of assessment report →Assessment of recovery effect → Completion of assessment
- According to the “Reform Plan for the Eco-Environmental Damage Compensation System”*, the following cases will be required for environmental damage compensation.
- If a sudden environmental accident of “relatively large level” or more occurs.
- If an environmental pollution or ecosystem destruction accident was caused in a priority ecological functional zone or development prohibited zone defined by a national or provincial-level subject functional zone plan.
- Any other situations that have serious adverse impacts on ecological environment.
For the original text of the above national standards, please refer to the following URL (simplified Chinese).