- China has outlined its environmental protection plan for the next 3 years. The new plan expands on the groundwork and progress already achieved in the Action Plan for Prevention and Control of Air Pollution and specifies new goals.
- The regulatory system will be rectified and VOCs will be a major management priority
On Jun 27, 2018, the State Council promulgated the “Notice of Three-year Plan on Defending the Blue Sky” (打赢蓝天保卫战三年行动计划) (hereinafter “Three-year Plan”). It is considered as the second stage of the Action Plan for Prevention and Control of Air Pollution published in 2013.
Three-year Plan aims at:
- Dramatically reduce the total emissions of major air pollutants
- Synergistically reduce greenhouse gas emissions
- Further significantly reduce the concentration of fine particulate matter (PM2.5)
- Remarkably reduce the number of days of heavy pollution
- Substantially improve air quality
- Improve citizen environmental satisfaction/happiness index
Specific goals and outcomes in 2020 will work towards the following metrics/indexes:
- Total emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides to reduce by 15% respectively
- The ratio of days with good air quality at the prefecture-level cities and higher municipalities to exceed 80%
- The ratio of severe pollution days less than 25%
Key regional targets in China’s Three-year Plan include the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei and surrounding areas, the Yangtze River Delta and the Fenhe and Weihe plain. These areas are expected to meet special limitations for SO2 air pollutants, nitrogen oxides, particulate matters and VOCs. (Read previous CL news to get special limitations for different industries and geographical locations)
China’s ongoing endeavors in environmental protection have necessitated largescale reformation of its legislative and regulatory framework. The Three-year Plan outlines that VOCs management will be rectified by compiling technical guidelines for VOCs governance and strengthening law enforcement. Policymakers are also considering levying environmental protection tax on VOCs. Other legislation programs include:
- Formulate regulation on administration of pollutant discharge permit, and regulation on air pollutants prevention in Beijing-Tianjing-Hebei and surrounding areas.
- Establish mandatory national standards on VOCs limitations in coating, ink, adhesive, detergent, etc. by 2019. Key regions take the lead in executing standards from Jul 1, 2020.
- Expedite standardization of pollutants discharge and VOCs emission management in key industries related to pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals, domestic glass, casting, industrial coating, catering industry, etc.
- Formulate management measures for motor vehicle emission detection and compulsory maintenance, and revise the Measures for the Management of Scrap Automobile Recycling.
- Encourage local government to develop stricter standards on pollutants emission.