By Wu Qing King & Wood Mallesons’ Commercial & Regulatory group

金杜律师事务所作为Thomson Reuters环境法板块中国地区唯一合作律所,2016、2017、2018连续三年为其提供 “Environmental law and practice in China: overview”(下称“Q&A Guide”)。Q&A  Guide是一份专门针对中国环境法律的指引,提供了对中国环境法律的高度概览,并且介绍了主要的环境实务问题,包括大气和水污染物排放,环境影响评价,固体废物和危险废物,土壤污染,以及交易中的环境问题等。金杜律师事务所每年都会结合最新出台的环境法律及环境监管趋势等内容,对Q&A Guide作出更新。目前2017/2018年度的Q&A Guide已更新,将以专题形式定期在金杜说法平台进行推送,旨在为企业提供对中国环境法律体系及实务的全方位指引。

1. Is there an integrated permitting regime or are there separate environmental regimes for different types of emission? Can companies apply for a single environmental permit for all activities on a site or do they have to apply for separate permits?

There is no integrated environmental permitting regime. Some provincial permits address both atmospheric and water pollutant discharge. However, entities must obtain several separate environmental permits addressing specific matters, such as pollutant discharge, exploitation and use of resources, construction projects, and operation and disposal of solid wastes and hazardous wastes.

On 27 November 2014, the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) issued a draft Interim Regulation of the Pollutant Emission Permits. According to the draft, entities discharging atmospheric and water pollutants, operating scale-up livestock farming, providing central heating, centralised disposal of garbage or disposal of hazardous wastes, must obtain emission permits. Therefore, an integrated permitting system will be implemented in the near future.

On 17 July 2017, the MEP issued a Notice for Public Opinions on Administration Measures of Pollutant Emission Permits. It is aimed to promote the Implementation Plan of the Permit System for Controlling Pollutants Emission, which is issued by the State Council.

On 27 July 2017, the MEP issued the Technical Specification for Application and Issuance of Pollutant Permit – Iron and Steel Industry (HJ 846-2017) to comprehensively implement the reform of the iron and steel industry pollutant emission system. The Technical Specification applies as a guide for application submission for pollutant emission permits by enterprises, as well as for materials reviewing and permits issuance by relevant authorities.

On 28 July 2017, the MEP issued the Fixed Pollution Source Emission Permits Classified Management Directory (2017 edition). It provides that:

  • 78 industries and four general processes will be regulated under the pollutant permission permits by 2020.
  • Pollutant discharge entities will be divided into key management entities and simplified management entities, based on the pollutant amount of production and emission, and the degree of environmental damage.

On 29 September 2017, the MEP issued the Technical Specification for Application and Issuance of Pollutant Permit – Textile and Dyeing Industry (HJ 861-2017) (effective on 29 September 2017). It guides and regulates the application and issuance of pollutant permits in the textile and dyeing industry.

2. What is the framework for the integrated permitting regime?

There is no integrated permitting regime (see Question 4).