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Measures on the Management of Qualification Certificates for Construction Project Environmental Impact Assessments

Decree of State Environmental Protection Administration

NO.2 The Measures on the Management of Qualification Certificates for Construction Project Environmental Impact Assessments was adopted at the Executive Session of the State Environmental Protection Administration on March 17, 1999 and is hereby promulgated for implementation.

Minister Xie Zhenhua

State Environmental Protection Administration

March 30, 1999

Chapter I General Provisions

Article 1 These Measures are hereby formulated in order to strengthen the management of construction project environmental impact assessments and improve the quality of environmental impact assessments in accordance with the Regulations on the Administration of Construction Project Environmental Protection.

Article 2 Units engaging in environmental impact assessment of construction projects shall obtain Qualification Certificates for the Environmental Impact Assessment of Construction Projects (hereinafter referred to as Assessment Certificates) issued by the State Environmental Protection Administration in accordance with the provisions of these Measures and carry out environmental impact assessments in line with the grade and scope prescribed by the Assessment Certificate.

Article 3 Assessment Certificates are divided into those constituting Grade A and Grade B. The business scope of Assessment Certificates is determined according to industrial and environmental factors and in accordance with the professional speciality and work abilities of the unit that has been granted an Assessment Certificate.

The term of validity of an Assessment Certificate is five years.

Article 4 Units holding Grade A Assessment Certificates may undertake environmental impact assessments of construction projects subject to the examination and approval of the environmental protection departments at all levels, and prepare environmental impact statements or environmental impact forms in accordance with the business scope defined in the Assessment Certificate.

Units holding Grade B Assessment Certificates may undertake environmental impact assessments of construction projects subject to the examination and approval of the local environmental protection departments at all levels and prepare environmental impact statements or the environmental impact forms in accordance with the business scope defined in the Assessment Certificate.

Chapter II Conditions and Procedures for Applying for Assessment Certificate 

Article 5 The unit applying for the Grade A Assessment Certificate shall satisfy the following requirements:

(1) It shall have legal personality, constitute a professional institute engaging in environmental impact assessment, have a fixed working site and working conditions and complete internal management rules and regulations;

(2) It can independently conduct investigation and analysis of main pollution factors in the environmental impact assessment and the impact forecast of the main environmental factors, have the ability to conduct ecological investigations and forecasts, have the capacity to analyse, examine and verify the technical report and monitoring data provided by the coordinating unit and independently compile environmental impact statements or forms;

(3) Among the full-time technical personnel who are engaged in environmental impact assessment, have at least four such personnel who have obtained high-level technical positions, more than six of such personnel have obtained mid-level technical titles, and at least six personnel who have been engaged in the environmental impact assessment field for more than three years. The above-mentioned personnel must satisfy the requirements of the State Environmental Protection Administration specifying that those who are engaged in the environmental impact assessment field should hold post certificates, and familiarize themselves with and observe environmental protection rules and regulations, standards, and technical norms of environmental impact assessment formulated by the State and local authorities;

(4) It shall have full-time professional personnel engaged in engineering, environmental, ecological, social and economic work; and

(5) It should be equipped with special instruments, equipment and computer drawing equipment that are in compliance with its business scope.

Article 6 The applicant units applying for Grade B assessment certificate shall satisfy the following requirements:

(1) It shall have legal personality, constitute a professional institute engaging in environmental impact assessment, have a fixed working site and working conditions and complete internal management rules and regulations;

(2) It can independently conduct investigation and analysis of main pollution factors in the environmental impact assessment and the impact forecast of the main environmental factors, have the ability to conduct ecological investigations and forecasts, have the capacity to analyse, examine and verify the technical report and monitoring data provided by the coordinating unit and independently compile environmental impact statements or forms;

(3) Among the full-time technical personnel who are engaged in the environmental impact assessment, have at least six such personnel who have obtained high-level and intermediate-level technical titles. The above-mentioned personnel must satisfy the requirements of the State Environmental Protection Administration, namely those who engage in the environmental impact assessment should hold post certificates, and be well acquainted with and observe the environmental protection rules and regulations, standards, and technical norms of environmental impact assessment formulated by the State and local authorities;

(4) It should have full-time professional personnel engaged in engineering, environmental, ecological, social and economic work; and

(5) It should be equipped with the special instruments, equipment and computer drawing equipment that are in compliance with its business scope.

Article 7 Procedures for Applying for Grade A Assessment Certificates:

(1) The applicant unit shall file a written application to the State Environmental Protection Administration. The applicant shall apply for and fill in, according to the provisions, the "Application Form of Qualification Certificates for Environmental Impact Assessment of Construction Projects" and, together with other supplementary documents, submit them to the State Environmental Protection Administration;

(2) The State Environmental Protection Administration shall solicit opinions from the environmental protection bureau at the provincial level and local departments governing the relevant industry where the applicant unit is located;

(3) The State Environmental Protection Administration shall examine the qualifications of the applicant unit and issue the Grade A Assessment Certificate to the applicant if the requirements are met.

Article 8 Procedures for Applying for Grade B Assessment Certificates:

(1) The applicant unit shall file a written application to the State Environmental Protection Administration. The applicant shall apply for and fill in, according to the provisions, the "Application Form for Qualification Certificates for Environmental Impact Assessment of Construction Projects" and, together with other supplementary documents, submit them to the environmental protection bureau at the provincial level for examination and opinions.  Where there are any departments governing the relevant industry at the same level, it shall also submit the material to these departments for opinions;

(2) The applicant unit shall submit the "Application Form for Qualification Certificates for Environmental Impact Assessment of Construction Projects" with the opinions provided by the environmental protection bureau at the provincial level at the place where the applicant unit is located and the opinions provided by the departments governing the relevant industry at the same level, if there are any, to the State Environmental Protection Administration for examination and verification;

(3) The State Environmental Protection Administration shall examine the qualifications of the applicant unit and issue the Grade B Assessment Certificate to the applicant if the requirements are met.

Article 9 An applicant unit the staff allocation of which fails to meet the requirements for the qualification of Grade B Assessment Certificate may, if necessary for the work, apply for a Grade B Assessment Certificate which is limited to completion of the environmental impact statement form upon verification by the environmental protection bureau at the provincial level at the place where the applicant unit is located. The application procedures shall be implemented in accordance with the provisions of Article 8 of these Measures.

Chapter III Management and Evaluation of Assessment Certificates

Article 10 The State Environmental Protection Administration shall regularly publish a list of qualified assessment units (hereinafter refer to assessment units) possessing Assessment Certificates.

Article 11 The environmental impact assessment conducted by the assessment unit shall be undertaken by the full-time environmental impact assessment organization within the assessment unit. The full-time organization shall be responsible for the assessment results.

When executing an assessment contract, the assessment unit must specify the grade and serial number of its Assessment Certificate. When the environmental impact statement or form for a particular construction project has been completed, a copy of the Assessment Certificate must be attached with the statement or form in reduced format (one third of the original copy in size), and the names of assessment unit's personnel and their construction project environmental impact assessment qualification certificate serial numbers shall also be attached.

Article 12 When conducting the environmental impact assessment, the assessment unit must strictly comply with the fee scales prescribed by the State.

Article 13 The State Environmental Protection Administration is responsible for organizing an evaluation of the assessment activities of the assessment unit. The evaluation is divided into periodic evaluation and routine inspection. The periodic evaluation is conducted once every two years and the routine inspection is carried out irregularly. The evaluation results are classified into qualified and unqualified results.

The State Environmental Protection Administration may authorize the environmental protection bureau at the provincial level to conduct a routine inspection of the assessment units at all levels within its jurisdiction.

The authorized environmental protection bureau at the provincial level shall submit reports on the inspection results to the State Environmental Protection Administration.

Article 14 The assessment units shall complete the "Performance Record of the Environmental Impact Assessment Unit" annually in accordance with the provisions, submit it to the State Environmental Protection Administration and send a copy to the environmental protection bureau at the provincial level at the place where the assessing unit is located. Where there is any department of relevant profession at the same level in the locality, another copy shall be sent to those departments. When adjustments or changes take place in the organizational structure and personnel of the assessing unit, the unit shall notify them in a timely manner to the State Environmental Protection Administration.

Article 15 The State Environmental Protection Administration may, depending on the evaluation results, re-confirm, degrade or revoke the Grade A Assessment Certificate accordingly, and confirm or revoke the Grade B Assessment Certificate accordingly.

Chapter IV Penalty Provisions

Article 16 The State Environmental Protection Administration shall, under any of the circumstances below, order an assessment unit that violates the provisions of these Measures to rectify the violation within a specified time limit between three to twelve months. The assessment unit that is ordered to carry out rectification of violation within the specified time is not allowed to undertake any environmental impact assessments. Where the assessment unit fails to attain the requirements for rectification within the specified time limit, the State Environmental Protection Administration shall degrade or revoke its Assessment Certificate.

(1) The assessment unit's organizational and personnel changes fail to meet the requirements of assessment;

(2) The assessment unit fails to perform the assessment contract without any justifiable reason;

(3) The assessment unit sub-contracts its assessment in disguised form or the items undertaken by it are not in conformity with its business scope;

(4) The assessment unit's environmental impact report is found to be poor in quality in the course of examination;

(5) The assessment unit fails to take part in the periodic evaluation without any reason or rejects routine supervision and inspection, or refuses to submit the "Performance Record of the Environmental Impact Assessment Unit" according to these Measures.

Article 17 The State Environmental Protection Administration shall, in any of the following circumstances, revoke the Assessment Certificate of an assessment unit that violates the provisions of these Measures:

(1) If the assessment unit resorts to deceit in the course of obtaining an Assessment Certificate;

(2) If the assessment unit sub-leases an Assessment Certificate;

(3) If the assessment unit fabricates data and resorts to deceit in the environmental impact assessment;

(4) If the assessment unit's erroneous assessment results in serious environmental pollution and economic losses;

(5) If the charges the assessment unit collects exceed the fee scale specified by the State.

Chapter V Supplementary Provisions

Article 18 The assessment qualifications of overseas institutions that intend to engage in environmental impact assessment of construction projects in China shall be confirmed by the State Environmental Protection Administration.

Article 19 The State Environmental Protection Administration shall be responsible for the interpretation of these Measures.

Article 20 The Measures shall be effective as of the date of promulgation. The "Measures on the Management of Environmental Impact Assessment Certificates," promulgated by the former National Environmental Protection Agency on September 2, 1989, shall be repealed.

(This English version is for your reference only.In case any discrepancy exists between the Chinese and English context, the Chinese version shall prevail.)

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