On May 11, 2021, the State Council of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) issued the “Notice on the Reform Implementation Plan for Hazardous Waste Management Supervision and Utilization Capacity” (the “Plan”). The Plan was enacted to thoroughly implement the Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Prevention of Environmental Pollution from Solid Wastes, improve the management and supervision of hazardous wastes and the capacity to deal with their utilization, and reduce the environmental and safety risks caused by hazardous wastes. The main contents are as follows.
- By 2022: the hazardous waste management and supervision system will be further developed, and a coordinated system of safety management and environmental management and supervision will be established. Illegal transportation and disposal of hazardous wastes will be effectively controlled. The problem of inadequate collection and treatment facilities for medical and hazardous wastes will be improved. A detoxification rate of more than 99% for medical waste in cities above the county level will be achieved. The hazardous waste treatment capacity of each province (autonomous region, municipalities directly under jurisdiction) will meet the demand of the region.
- By 2025: A hazardous waste management and supervision system that strictly controls hazardous waste from source to final disposal will be established. The capacity, technology, and operation of hazardous waste utilization and treatment will be further improved.
- Establishment of hazardous waste management and supervision system
- Establishment of inter-regional coordination prevention and control system for hazardous waste environmental risks: By 2022, an inter-regional coordination prevention and control system for hazardous waste environmental risks will be established in Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Region, Yangtze River Delta, Pearl River Delta, and Chengdu and Chongqing regions.
- Clarification of corporate responsibility: The legal representatives and effective managers of hazardous waste generation, collection, storage, transportation, utilization and treatment enterprises (hereinafter referred to as “hazardous waste-related enterprises”) will be responsible for the prevention of environmental pollution and safe production of hazardous waste and will thoroughly implement the laws and regulations on hazardous waste environmental pollution and safe production.
- Development of information system for hazardous waste environmental management: A system to manage the process of hazardous waste from generation to final disposal will be developed by means of online operations, installation of monitoring equipment, and electronic labels.
- Enhancement of management and supervision of hazardous waste generation sources
- Development of hazardous waste identification system: The National Hazardous Waste List will be dynamically revised. The list of exemptions for hazardous waste management will be developed. By 2021, Hazardous Waste Identification and Management Measures Law will be enacted.
- Stricter environmental entry qualifications: The environmental impact assessment and industrial hazardous waste pollutant discharge permit system for hazardous waste projects for new construction, renovation, and expansion will be thoroughly implemented.
- Promotion of the reduction of hazardous waste generation: The generating amount of hazardous waste will be reduced and the use of production processes and equipment technologies that reduce the hazards and harmfulness of hazardous waste will be promoted.
- Enhancement of management and supervision of hazardous wastes collection and transfer
- Promotion of specialization in collection, transfer, and storage: The development of regional collection bases or storage facilities by companies specializing in the collection, transfer, utilization, and treatment of hazardous wastes will be supported.
- Promotion of development of transfer and transportation systems: A notification management system for vehicles transporting hazardous and medical wastes will be established.
- Strict control of crimes related to hazardous wastes: Crimes against environmental laws in the generation, collection, storage, transportation, use, and treatment of hazardous wastes will be strictly controlled.
- Enhancement of management and supervision of waste hazardous chemicals
- Establishment of coordinated system of management and supervision: The emergency management department, Ecology and Environment Ministry, and related departments will work together to implement management and supervision of waste hazardous chemicals.
- Enhancement of infrastructure construction for the treatment of hazardous wastes
- Enhancement of treatment capacity for special types of hazardous waste: The treatment facilities for hazardous waste that is extremely dangerous or hazardous to the environment or humanity will be established.
- Improvement of the treatment capacity of hazardous wastes in the province: By 2022, the treatment capacity of hazardous wastes in each province (autonomous region, municipalities directly under jurisdiction) will meet the demand of the region.
6.Promotion of quality development in the hazardous waste industry
- Promotion of hazardous waste utilization treatment enterprises development: The construction of hazardous waste utilization treatment facilities will be supported through diversified investment or marketization.
- Standardization of hazardous waste utilization: A standard system for the integrated utilization of solid waste will be established.
- Establishment of fiscal and financial policies: A fee collection system for the treatment of hazardous and medical wastes will be established and environmental protection tax policies will be implemented.
- Acceleration of the dissemination of applicable technologies: The research and dissemination of applicable technologies for the treatment and utilization of hazardous wastes and the prevention of pollution and environment will be promoted.
- Enhancement of hazardous waste environmental risk management capacity
- Cultivation of a highly professional management and supervision team: The hazardous waste management and supervision system will be strengthened, and personnel with hazardous waste environmental management skills will be trained to support the system.
- Improvement of relevant legal systems: “Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Prevention of Environmental Pollution from Solid Waste” will be thoroughly implemented, the hazardous waste handling permit management and transfer management systems will be improved, and the pollution control standard norms for hazardous waste storage, combustion and identification will be revised.
- Improvement of basic research capacity: Scientific research on hazardous waste risk management and utilization procedures will be strengthened.
- Safeguard measures
- In the Plan, safeguard measures include clarification of the responsibilities of each government department and enhancement of the education and supervision of each department.
The original text of the above plan can be viewed at the following URL (in simplified Chinese).