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State Council to control pollution discharge through permit system

Updated: Nov 21,2016 7:55 PM

As an effort to promote environment governance reform and improve environmental quality, the State Council issued a circular to roll out the permit system for discharging pollutants.

According to the announcement, the environmental protection authorities will supervise enterprises and public institutions by issuing permits, a task that will include all fixed pollution sources by 2020.

While implementing the system, the control of regional pollutant discharge volume, especially fixed sources of pollution, will be shifted to the supervision of individual enterprises and public institutions.

Environmental impact assessments should be well integrated into the permit system, and enterprises should apply for the permits before discharging pollutants.

The Ministry of Environmental Protection should formulate and publish industrial categories subject to the permit system for classified management, and streamline procedures for those with slight environmental influence.

According to the released information, permits issued by county-level environmental authorities and above should clarify types, concentration, volume and whereabouts of pollutants, and will start from thermal power plants and paper mills before full coverage by 2020.

The circular urged strict supervision and law enforcement of pollutant discharge allowed by permits, and laid out measures against violation.

By 2017, a nationwide information platform on discharge permits will be established with unified permit codes for collective management.

Those that violate discharge permits will be recorded in the credit evaluation of enterprises environmental behaviors, and published on the enterprise credit system.

The circular also called for legal and technical support to guarantee the implementation of the system.