Ministry of Environmental Protection, NDRC, Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, Ministry of Supervision, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, State Administration for Industry and Commerce, State Administration of Work Safety and State Electricity Regulatory Commission (hereinafter referred to as the nine departments of the State Council) jointly held a teleconference in Beijing on March 20 to make arrangements for 2012 national special environmental protection campaigns on cracking down the enterprises that discharge pollutants against the law and ensuring public health. MEP Minister Zhou Shengxian on behalf of the nine departments of the State Council presented the mobilization speech. He pointed out that we should take strong measures to address preeminent environmental problems affecting public health and sustainable development such as heavy metals pollution and safeguard public environmental rights and interests and social harmony and stability.
MEP Minister Zhou Shengxian reviewed the achievements of the special environmental protection campaign of 2011. He said, according to the requirements of CCCPC and State Council, relevant departments of the State Council have close cooperation. Local governments at all levels attach great importance, continuously carry out special environmental protection campaigns, make more efforts in law enforcement, and crack down environmental infringements and the enterprises discharging pollutants against the law. In 2011, over 2.7 million person-times of law enforcement workers had been mobilized across the country. They had checked over 1.07 million enterprises, investigated more than 10000 environmental infringements, 2016 environmental infringements were on the list for supervision. The special environmental protection campaign has made new breakthrough: 1) Firmly crack down environmental infringements of lead acid battery enterprises. In 2011, 1962 lead battery enterprises (184 of them engaged in recycling of lead resources) were checked, 736 of them were banned, 565 stopped operation for making corrections, and 284 stopped their business. With concentrated control, some key enterprises have made more investment in environmental protection, improved their level in prevention and control of pollution, facilitated technical progress of lead acid battery industry and improved competitive force. Second, comprehensive check on the enterprises discharging heavy metal pollutants. A total of 12137 enterprises that discharge heavy metal pollutants in key industries have been checked. Among them, there are 1962 lead battery enterprises, 3470 enterprises engaged in mining, mineral processing and smelting of heavy metals or non-ferrous metals, 241 enterprises on chemical raw materials and their products, 583 enterprises on leather and its products, 3636 electroplating enterprises, 152 enterprises on disposal of hazardous wastes and 2093 other enterprises. We have imposed strict environmental access to the construction projects involving heavy metals. The environmental protection departments of 26 provinces (autonomous regions and municipalities) have withdrawn the right of reviewing and approving EIA documents of construction projects of lead storage battery industry. There has been active progress in the development of local plan for prevention and control of heavy metal pollution in each region. Third, pollution control and supervision on key enterprises on emission reduction have been strengthened. A total of 3104 sewage treatment plants (including industrial effluent treatment plants in industrial parks & zones and industry concentrated areas) across the country have been checked. Ministry of Environmental Protection has made public the name of 334 sewage treatment plants going beyond discharge standard. The authority has carried out law enforcement inspection on the thermal power generating units with total capacity of 518 million kW of 21 power corporations.
Zhou Shengxian pointed out, while affirming the achievements, we should understand that current tasks on law enforcement supervision becomes more onerous with bigger difficulty. This is mainly reflected by the overall degradation trend of environment not under effective control, PM2.5 emerging as a new public focus, hard emission reduction tasks, preeminent environmental problems affecting public health and the approaches and strength of local environmental law enforcement still not meeting the new requirements for the development of environmental protection cause.
Zhou Shengxian said, the top priority of the special environmental protection campaign in 2012 is still prevention and control of heavy metal pollution. Local government at all levels should take enhancing prevention and control of heavy metals pollution and supervision on the enterprises relevant to heavy metals as an important public welfare project for safeguarding public health and improving the welfare; take strong measures and firmly control the relatively frequent occurrence of heavy metal pollution accidents, and safeguard public environment rights and interests and social stability and harmony. We will make more efforts to do well the activities in the following three aspects:
First, we will take the severest measures to control environmental pollution problems of the enterprises in key industries discharging heavy metal pollutants. We will further carry out the control measures, strengthen supervision, accelerate phasing out of outdated production capacity of lead storage battery and prevent the reoccurrence of pollution by lead storage battery enterprises. We will comprehensively prevent and control pollution of the enterprises discharging heavy metal pollutants mainly in mining, mineral processing and smelting industries of heavy or non-ferrous metals, focusing on key industries and regions involving lead, cadmium, mercury, chromium and arsenic. We will strictly carry out regulations management and “double vetoes” policies. Each region should make public the name of all enterprises engaged in mining, mineral processing and smelting of heavy or non-ferrous metals as well as leather and electroplating enterprises within its administrative region and progress in pollution control before June 30, 2012 to receive public supervision, it should also renew the information about pollution control in lead acid battery enterprises.
Second, comprehensively check the enterprises that generate, use and dispose hazardous wastes. We will urge enterprises to develop hazardous waste management plan and preventive measures and emergency response program for hazardous waste pollution accidents in line with national regulations, seriously carry out the manifest system for the enterprises that generate, dispose or utilize hazardous wastes, and establishment the life-time accountability system for pollution by hazardous waste. All enterprises should carry out operations such as collection, storage, utilization and disposal of hazardous waste strictly in line with the requirements stipulated in business license; operate pollution prevention and control facilities in normal way and ensure meet-the-standard discharge of pollutants. In case of any intentionally dumping of hazardous waste that causes environmental pollution, the people being responsible shall be brought to public security organs in time. The criminal responsibility shall be investigated and dealt with according to law.
Third, we will strictly supervise emission reduction of key enterprises. We will strengthen supervision and check on urban sewage treatment plants and waste water treatment plants of various kinds of industrial parks; speed up upgrading and reform of existing sewage treatment facilities for nitrogen removal; intensify supervision on industrial enterprises that discharge effluent into waste water treatment plants; and crack down environmental infringements such as stop operating pollution control facilities without permission, abnormal operation of on-line monitoring equipment and discharge going beyond standard. We will strengthen the supervision on power enterprises in terms of the construction, operation and maintenance of desulphurization and denitrifictaion facilities of coal fueled generating units, urge power enterprises to develop and submit the feasibility report and plan for smoke technical reform for file, and make smoke discharge meeting the new emission standard. We will intensify supervision on on-line monitoring system for desulphurization of coal fueled generating units. Any power plant with SO2 emission going beyond national emission standard will be subject to deduction of the desulphurization electricity price. We will gradually establish the credit assessment system for environmental performance of power enterprises.
Zhou Shengxian said, the government at all levels should take special environmental protection campaign as an important task, strengthen organization and leadership, and fulfill the responsibility. All departments should enhance coordination and cooperation, adherer to regular negotiations, joint check system and the system of referring to and handing over cases of environmental infringements; crack down environmental infringements; strictly investigate and handle preeminent environmental problems. We will strictly supervise the fulfillment of responsibility by enterprises, urge enterprises to raise awareness in environmental protection and self discipline, standardize their environmental conducts, actively prevent environment risks and fulfill the responsibility of enterprises as the main body for environmental protection. We will keep on supervision on key environmental pollution accidents and environmental infringements with strong public complaints or affecting social stability; strengthen supervision and carry out successful investigation, corrections and accountability. We will reject review and approval of EIS of any new construction project in regions where there is striking problems in carrying out corrections measures for pollution control. We will widely publicize guidelines, policies, laws and regulations on environmental protection, as well as the work and achievements in areas such as special environmental protection campaigns. We will make public the progress of special environmental protection campaigns in time, accurately release the information about the enterprises discharging heavy metal pollutants and sewage treatment plants, and fully ensure public rights in access, expression, supervision and participation in environmental protection.
MEP Vice Minister Zhang Lijun chaired the meeting. The official in charge from NDRC, Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, Ministry of Supervision and State Administration of Work Safety voiced their specific requirements for the special environmental protection campaign. Relevant officials in charge from departments such as Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, State Administration for Industry and Commerce and State Electricity Regulatory Commission attended the meeting.
The leader in charge of each province, autonomous region and municipality, city under separate plan of the State Council and Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps and heads of relevant national departments attended the meeting at local venues.