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.||
|Chapter 2: The Pollutant Discharge Permit and Pollutant Discharge Registration Form||Basic information, registration items, permit items, etc.||
|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.||
|Chapter 4: Pollutant Discharge Management||Responsibilities of pollutant-discharging entities, etc.||
|Chapter 5: Oversight and Inspection||Framework of government oversight by ecology and environment departments, enforcement activities and methods, etc.||
|Chapter 6: Legal Responsibilities||Violations, penalties, etc.||
|Chapter 7: Supplementary Provisions||The requirement of correcting issues within a specified period, definitions of “pollutant discharge permit” and other words, etc.||
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