By Wu Qing King & Wood Malleson’s Commercial & Regulatory group丨Partner

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。

What is the regulatory regime for air pollution (whether part of an integrated regime or separate)?

The main laws are the:

  • Environmental Protection Law.
  • Law on Prevention and Control of Atmospheric Pollution.
  • Administrative regulations and local regulations relating to atmospheric pollution prevention and control.

The administrative regulations and local regulations are similar to those concerning water pollution (see Question 6).

Permits and regulator

Entities must obtain two permits for air emissions. These are the same as those required for water pollution, but deal with air emissions rather than water (see Question 6, Permits and regulator).

Prohibited activities

The following activities are prohibited:

  • Emission of atmospheric pollutants by way of circumventing regulation.
  • Encroachment, destruction or unauthorised removal or change of atmospheric quality monitoring facilities and auto monitoring equipment for emission of atmospheric pollutants.
  • Manufacturing, importing, selling or using equipment and products prohibited in the national integrated industry policies, adopting processes prohibited in the national integrated industry policies, or transferring eliminated equipment and products to others for their use.
  • Importing, mining, selling and using non-compliant fuel.
  • Manufacturing, importing or selling motor vehicles and vessels, and non-road mobile machinery, that emit atmospheric pollutants beyond the required standards.


The Law on Prevention and Control of Atmospheric Pollution does not provide that polluters must clean up and compensate the atmospheric pollution. However, it does provide that if the emission of air pollutants causes any damage, the polluters must bear related tort liabilities.


The main penalties for violating the Law on Prevention and Control of Atmospheric Pollution are administrative penalties. Departments entitled to impose administrative penalties include environmental protection authorities, quality supervision authorities, inspection and quarantine authorities, industry and commerce authorities, maritime administration authorities, fishery authorities, and housing and urban-rural development authorities.

The penalties are the same as for unauthorised water pollution (see Question 6, Penalties). However, in addition, illegal income, raw materials or products can be confiscated.