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Circular on Standardizing Pollutant Outlets

(Promulgated by the State Environmental Protection Administration on Janary 25, 1999)

The efforts to standardize outlet in pilot cities and provinces have produced marked effects. The standardization of outlets is basic to the total amount control of pollutant discharges in that it serves to strengthen environmental supervision and monitoring as well as law enforcement. To further strengthen on-the-spot monitoring and supervision of pollutants and meet the 2000-year targets, the decision to standardize outlets is made through discussion, and a notice is therefore issued concerning the following issues:

1. Outlet standardization is to meet the following demands made by the State Council:
a. to control the total amount of pollutant discharges;
b. to make the industrial pollutant discharges of the whole nation meet the set standard by the year 2000; and
c. To make pollutant discharges in all municipalities directly under the Central Authorities, provincial capitals, cities in special economic zones, coastal open cities, and functional districts in major tourist cities meet the set standard.

The standardization of outlets plays a basic role in bringing law and regulations to the control of pollutants and carrying out quantitative management of such pollutants. Governments at all levels shall pay high attention to such task and assume their role of guidance and organization in earnest, environmental monitoring departments shall shoulder their specific responsibility conscientiously.

2. All newly constructed, renovated or expanded units that discharge pollutants and units that are required to improve pollutant control within given time shall build standardized outlets while constructing treatment facilities. The construction of outlets shall be included in the environmental protection system of the "three simultaneities"and shall be one item of the project to be checked before acceptance.

3. To meet the demands of the set standard, outlets shall be standardized in such areas as:
a. Huai River, Hai River, and Liao River and Tai Lake, Chao Lake and Dian Lake;
b. sulphur dioxide or acid rain polluted areas;
c. urban and suburban Beijing; and
d. outlets required to meet the set standard by the year 2000. Other areas and units shall also carry out the task of standardizing outlets if conditions permit.

4. Environmental departments at all levels shall work out plans to carry out the task of standardizing outlets, fill out relevant forms and report such forms to their superiors for record. When carrying out their assessment tasks, environmental monitoring departments shall also assess how much the units that discharge pollutants have been encouraged to achieve in outlet standardization, such departments are also responsible to organize relevant inspection activities.

5. Outlets shall be standardized according to the principle of "easy to sample, easy to monitor and calculate, and easy to supervise and manage every day" and shall be constructed strictly according to technological requirements.

6. An outlet sign shall be installed at pollutant outlets in accordance with the mandatory standards for pollutant source discharges promulgated by the State. Such sign is the legal symbol of pollutant monitoring, sampling, supervision and management.

7. The State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) shall carry out unified supervision of the manufacture of outlet signs. All factories shall submit a permit application for the manufacture of environmental protection signs and registration certificates to SEPA for examination and approval. SEPA shall, after receiving such permit application, approve such permit application, issue such permit after investigation, publish the issuance of such permit in China Environment News, and conduct annual inspection. Factories without such permit shall not manufacture outlet signs, units that discharge pollutants and local environmental protection departments shall not use illegal outlet signs.


8. Funds for the construction and standardization of outlets shall be raised mainly by such units themselves, environmental protection departments may allocate part of their environmental protection subsidies pollution control subsidies to such units.

(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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