By Wu Qing King & Wood Mallesons’ Commercial & Regulatory group
King & Wood Mallesons (“KWM”) is the exclusive partner firm of Thomson Reuters in PRC for its environmental law section. KWM has been a contributor to the “Environmental law and practice in China: overview” (the “Q&A Guide”) for three consecutive years (2016/17/18). The Q&A Guide is a specialized guide to China’s environmental law. It provides a high level overview of environmental law in China and looks at key practical issues including emissions to air and water, environmental impact assessments, solid and hazardous waste, contaminated land, and environmental issues in transactions. KWM provides updated insights for the Q&A Guide every year based on the latest environmental law and regulatory trends. The most recent edition of Q&A Guide 2017/2018 will be forwarded on “KWM Institute”(KWM_China), KWM’s official WeChat account, periodically as special session, providing companies with a complete guide to the legal system and practice of environmental law in China.
What is the regulatory regime for asbestos?
No specific regulatory regime exists for asbestos. Asbestos is regulated by the regulations relating to the Mineral Resources Law and the Law on Prevention of Environmental Pollution by Solid Waste.
See Question 12, Prohibited activities.
Permits and regulator
There is a permit system for the mining of asbestos (Article 12, Notice of Ministry of Land and Resources). The permit is approved and issued by the department in charge of geology and mineral resources of governments at provincial, autonomous regional or directly administered municipal level.
The entity or individual must obtain a permit for the safe use of hazardous chemicals. The business operations (including storage) of hazardous chemicals also require a permit. Permits are issued by supervision and administration divisions of work safety departments.
For details on permits and regulators related to asbestos waste, see Question 12.
See Question 6, Penalties.
On 24 June 2017, the Supreme People’s Court issued an Interpretation on Several Issues Concerning the Application of Law in the Trial of Disputes over Mining Rights (Interpretation). Article 22 of the Interpretation provides that if the Supreme People’s Court finds in the trial of disputes over mining rights that there is any illegal act (such as undocumented exploration or exploitation, fraudulent exploration qualification or geological data, or the investigation and exploitation fails to fulfil the obligation of restoring the ecological environment, and so on), the court can submit judicial suggestions to competent administrative departments. Those departments must deal with it in accordance with law; and if a crime is suspected the case must be transferred to the investigating organ for handling.