On Dec. 21, 2021, China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment issued a circular on the implementation of the pollutant discharge permit system for industrial solid waste. Here is an overview of the circular published on the ministry’ website.
The implementation goal is to gradually incorporate rules for industrial solid waste environmental management by entities generating the waste into the pollutant discharge permit system in accordance with the law.
The implementation covers industrial solid waste generators that are required to obtain a pollutant discharge permit under the List of Stationary Pollutant Source Categories for Pollutant Discharge Permit.
If there are industrial solid waste generators that are not covered by this list but should certainly be managed by the pollution discharge permit system, provincial-level departments of ecology and environment may propose new categories of the pollutant discharge permit to the Ministry of Ecology and Environment in accordance with Article 8 of the list and implement them on a trial basis after the ministry’s approval.
How waste generators implement the permit system
After the “Technical specification for application and issuance of pollutant permit—Industrial solid waste (on trial)” is implemented, when applying for a pollutant discharge permit for the first time, industrial solid waste generators must follow the technical specification’s rules for solid waste as well as its rules for the application and issuance of pollutant discharge permits in each industry. Environmental management requirements for industrial solid waste are stated in the permit.
Industrial solid waste generators don’t have to have their permit updated or reissued during its validity period if they have a permit obtained before the implementation of the technical specification. When the permit expires or an update or reapplication is needed for other reasons, those waste generators have to extend or update it and add environmental management requirements for industrial solid waste to the permit in accordance with the technical specification.
Information stated in the permit
When industrial solid waste generators apply for, extend, update or reapply for a pollutant discharge permit, they must provide information required for industrial solid waste pollutant discharge permission on the national digital platform for pollutant discharge permit management.
The following things must be stated in the permit: basic data on their industrial solid waste; information on the facilities, in cases where they store, utilize and dispose of the waste themselves; records in the record book and implementation report data; and the requirements for industrial solid waste pollution control.
Oversight of permit application by waste generators
Government departments validating pollutant discharge permits must increase their oversight of industrial solid waste generators.
Before applying for, extending, updating or reapplying for a pollutant discharge permit, industrial solid waste generators must perform self-inspections in terms of compliance with the “Technical specification for application and issuance of pollutant permit—Industrial solid waste (on trial)” and, if issues are found, correct them promptly to meet the requirements for the permit.
They must provide comprehensive and accurate information on their industrial waste on the national digital platform for pollutant discharge permit management. They are responsible for the truthfulness, accuracy and legality of the information.
The full text of the circular (in simplified Chinese) is available at