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MEP promulgates the Administrative Measures for Pollutant Emission Permitting (on trial)

MEP printed out the Administrative Measures for Pollutant Emission Permitting (on trial) (hereinafter referred to as the Administrative Measures), which stipulates the procedures for the examination and issuance of pollutant emission permits, and specifies the legal liabilities of the environmental protection departments, the polluters, and the third-party organizations.

As a regulatory basis for the pollutant emission permitting system, the Administrative Measures clarifies the liabilities of the polluters and highlights the importance to give incentives to compliance and disincentives to incompliance.

In order to enable the polluters to honor their liabilities, the document provides for five systems, that is, the enterprise committing, self-monitoring, emission accounting, compliance reporting, and information sharing systems. An enterprise shall commit to environmental compliance and take responsibility for the authenticity, integrity, and legitimacy of the application materials in order to obtain a pollutant permit. The self-monitoring, emission accounting, and compliance reporting help the polluter to determine whether it has met the emission standards, identify its environmental problems in business operation, and calculate its actual emissions on its own. They provide evidence for the polluter concerned to prove compliance and help the environmental protection departments to check and determine the polluter’s compliance with the pollution permit. The information sharing enhances the enterprises’ awareness of compliance with the pollution permit and creates an environment of public supervision.

The Administrative Measures is an update of the temporary regulations issued in 2016 on the management of pollution permits. It is the regulatory basis for the application for and examination and issuance of pollution permits. It specifies that Ministry of Environmental Protection shall formulate technical specifications and guidance for the obtainment of pollution permits, the management of emission accounts, the compliance reporting of the permits, the self-monitoring, and the feasible pollution control technologies.

The Administrative Measures stresses the importance of the pollution permit as the basic vehicle for rigorous compliance inspection. The environmental inspection departments shall make inspection plans, check the polluter’s emission account books, online monitoring data, and take other approaches to calculate the actual amounts of emissions and compare them against the polluter’s pollution permit, so as to determine whether the polluter concerned has complied with the permit.

Furthermore, the Administrative Measures specifies the legal liabilities of the environmental protection departments, the polluters, and the third-party organizations. The document provides for the circumstances of incompliance, including, inter alia, emission without a permit, emission against the permit, data fraud, incompliant self-monitoring, and failure to share environmental information. Accordingly, it stipulates the punitive provisions with regard to the above incompliances.

(This English version is for your reference only.In case any discrepancy exists between the Chinese and English context, the Chinese version shall prevail.)