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"Zero tolerance" to illegal pollution discharge and "combination blow" to fight offender enterprises--MEP release supplementary measures to new environment law
BEIJING, CENEWS-MEP organized a press conference a dozen of days ago to release four supplementary measures to the new amended environment protection law, requiring local environmental protection departments at all levels to wield the new power and instruments conferred by the law, to give "zero tolerance" to illegal pollution discharge and strike a "combination blow" to fight offender enterprises. 
According to an official with MEP, MEP released on Dec.19, 2014 the "Measures of the Competent Environmental Protection Department on Enforcement of Daily Penalty" (No.28 MEP Order), "Measures of the Competent Environmental Protection Department on Seizures and Distraints" (No.29 MEP Order), "Measures of the Competent Environmental Protection Department on Ordering Enterprises to Restrict Operations and Suspend Operations to Make Corrections" (No.30 MEP Order), and "Measures on Sharing Environmental Information by Enterprises and Public Institutions" (No.31 MEP Order). The four supplementary measures shall take effect as of January 1, 2015, together with the new environment law. 
The four supplementary measures are promulgated considering the urgent needs for enforcing Environmental Protection Law, advancing the rule of law by environmental protection department, striking environmental offences with heavy blows, and highlighting the role of polluters as the main player for environmental protection, said the official. 
The official also said the "Measures of the Competent Environmental Protection Department on Enforcement of Daily Penalty" has 22 articles in four chapters. It focuses on the Article 59 of the new amended environment law about imposing daily penalty on "illegal pollution discharge" and "refusal to correct", specifies the categories of offences applicable to daily penalty, sets down procedures for imposing the daily penalty, clarifies the content and form to issue an order to make corrections, establishes the standards for how to identify a behavior as refusal to correct the wrongful pollution discharge behaviors, provides the calculation method of daily penalties, and clarifies the complementarity of the daily penalty system with other environmental protection systems. 
The "Measures of the Competent Environmental Protection Department on Seizures and Distraints" has 25 articles in four chapters. Its main purpose is to address the problem with some working-level environmental inspectors because they either have no idea or courage to apply the seizure and distraint tools. While setting standards for the use of power, the Order also substantially reduces the enforcement risks caused by wrongful use or abuse of seizure or distraint tools. With regard to the Article 25 of the new environment law that in case of "illegal pollution discharge" or "causes or may cause severe pollution", the competent environmental protection department may seize or distrain "facilities or equipment which have caused the pollution", the Order specifies the definition, applicable scope, targets, procedures, and oversight and inspection of seizures and distraints. 
The "Measures of the Competent Environmental Protection Department on Ordering Enterprises to Restrict Operations and Suspend Operations to Make Corrections" has 22 articles in four chapters. It focuses on the Article 60 of the new environment law about take such measures as "restricting operations", "suspending operations to make improvements", and "shutting down enterprises" to tackle environmental offences, which is, "failing to attain pollution standards or exceeding total pollution load quota". The Order provides the circumstances applicable to the measures of "restricting operations", "suspending operations to make improvements", and "requesting the government to shut down enterprises", specifies the procedures for restricting production and suspending operations to make improvements, and strengthens the regulation on the implementation of the two measures. 
The "Measures on Sharing Environmental Information by Enterprises and Public Institutions" has 18 articles. It meets the basic needs of the public for corporate environmental information and considers the information sharing capability of enterprises. It combines principles with feasibility, and addresses four cardinal issues of "who shall be responsible for information sharing", "what shall be shared", "how to share", and "how to supervise the information sharing", i.e., the scope, content, approach of information sharing and the supervision matters. 
 
 

 

 

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