China Implements New Environmental Protection Regulations and Standards

  •   10 Oct 2017
  •    Matt Lu

    Two regulations and two national standards for environmental protection and waste management in China became effective on Oct 1st 2017.

    The two regulations are:

    1. Regulations on the Environmental Protection of Construction Projects (2017). This is a support regulation to the Law on Environmental Impact Assessment. The Environmental Impact Assessment Law was revised in 2016. The 2017 version of the regulation makes many changes to the current environmental impact assessment system. The main purpose of the revision is to simplify the assessment procedure. MEP no longer manages the qualification of assessment facilities. MEP is also not responsible for the inspection and acceptance of the environmental protection equipment in construction projects and environmental impact assessment is no longer a precondition for other approvals, etc. To achieve more effective supervision and management, the revised regulation emphasizes post-construction supervision in place of pre-construction administrative approvals. Although the environmental protection departments will not be involved in the acceptance of environmental protection equipment used in construction projects, they still have the power to conduct inspections after the project is completed.
    2. Guidance on the Environmental Impact Assessment of Hazardous Wastes in Construction Projects. This is a newly promulgated technical support document to the environmental impact assessment system. The Guidance requires that hazardous wastes produced in construction projects should be assessed throughout its life cycle including production, collection, transportation, storage and final disposal or treatment.

    The two standards are:

    1. Identification Standards for Solid Wastes – General Rules (GB 13015-2017). The standard specifies the definition of solid wastes as well as the scope of objects that are not managed as solid wastes. It provides a clear legal foundation for environmental protection authorities during law enforcement.
    2. Standard for Pollution Control on Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)-contaminated wastes (GB 13015-2017). This is a revised version to its predecessor. The definition of PCB-contaminated wastes is newly revised and the wastes are divided into 7 categories. The revised standard provides detailed requirements on the collection, package, transport, storage and disposal of the PCB-contaminated wastes.

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