China China publishes draft revised measures on pollutant discharge permits

The changes in the revision include a scheme to require the correction of non-compliance within a specified period

China publishes draft revised measures on pollutant discharge permits

On March 27, 2023, China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment published draft revised Measures on Pollutant Discharge Permits1. The ministry is seeking comments on the draft through April 24, 2023.

An experimental version of the measures has been implemented since March 1, 2021, but it is not consistent with the Regulations on Pollutant Discharge Permits2, and lacks provisions on pollutant discharge-related registrations as well as a scheme to require companies to correct their non-compliance within a specified period, thus failing to meet the environmental needs in a modern pollutant discharge permit system. The latest revision addresses these inadequacies.

The draft revised measures consist of seven chapters and 55 articles, and includes provisions on the application, oversight and penalties of pollutant discharge permits.


Outline of the draft measures and main changes in the revision

There are many changes in the draft to ensure consistency with the Regulations on Pollutant Discharge Permits2.

Chapter Provisions Main changes in the revision
Chapter 1: General Provisions Purpose of the measures, classification-based management, grade-based management, etc.
  • Development of a national digital platform for pollutant discharge permits
  • Clarified integration with environmental impact assessments, discharge limits, environmental protection tax, etc.
Chapter 2: The Pollutant Discharge Permit and Pollutant Discharge Registration Form Basic information, registration items, permit items, etc.
  • Development of principles for setting discharge amounts and concentrations permitted
  • New main items in the pollutant discharge registration form
Chapter 3: Application and Approval Documents to submit and information to publish in permit application, requirements for application review by the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, approval period, etc.
  • Requirements for on-site inspection and technical assessment
  • Procedures and required documents for reapplication, correction, etc.
Chapter 4: Pollutant Discharge Management Responsibilities of pollutant-discharging entities, etc.
  • Requirements for implementation reporting and self-monitoring records
  • Procedure of pollutant discharge registration
Chapter 5: Oversight and Inspection Framework of government oversight by ecology and environment departments, enforcement activities and methods, etc.
  • Clarified requirements for monitoring inspection and implementation report inspection
  • Provisions on quality management and data use
Chapter 6: Legal Responsibilities Violations, penalties, etc.
  • Heavier penalties for discharging pollutants without a pollutant discharge permit or in violation of the requirements of the pollutant discharge permit
  • Increased publication of violations
Chapter 7: Supplementary Provisions The requirement of correcting issues within a specified period, definitions of “pollutant discharge permit” and other words, etc.
  • Provision on confidentiality
  • Management requirements for pollutant-discharging entities


Effective date

According to Article 55, the measures will come into effect and replace the current experimental version on its publication date.


The draft revised measures (in Chinese) are available at


1 排污许可管理办法

2 排污许可管理条例

Author / Responsibility

LIU Yake

Researcher, Research & Consulting Dept. EnviX Ltd.

Business Performance

worked as a research assistant at Department of Environmental Planning and Management, School of Environment, Tsinghua University for 4 years, and then joint in Envix in April, 2022, currently is mainly responsible for consulting on EHS regulation compliance in East Asia.


MA, Environmental Econimics, Hiroshima University