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Measures on the Administration of Interpretation on Environmental Regulations

Decree of the State Environmental Protection Administration No.1

Measures on the Administration of Interpretation on Environmental Regulations was adopted at the executive session of the State Environmental Protection Administration on December 3, 1998 and is hereby promulgated for implementation.

Minister Xie Zhenhua

State Environmental Protection AdministrationDecember 8, 1998

Article 1 The Measures on the Interpretation of the Environmental Protection Laws and Regulations are made in order to standardize the interpretation of the environmental protection laws, the administrative rules and regulations and ministerial regulations (hereinafter referred to as "the interpretation of the laws and regulations") in the light of the related stipulations in the Resolution on Strengthening the Interpretation of the Laws by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress and the Circular on the Issues of the Authorized Interpretation Limits and Procedures of the Administrative Rules and Regulations by the General Office of the State Council.

Article 2 The text of the environmental protection laws itself needs further clear limits or supplementary regulations should be made in accordance with the Resolution on Strengthening the Interpretation of the Laws by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress.

The text of the administrative rules and regulations on environmental protection itself needs further clear limits or supplementary regulations should be made in accordance with the Circular on the Issues of the Authorized Interpretation Limits and Procedures of the Administrative Rules and Regulations by the General Office of the State Council.

Article 3 The problems arising from concrete application of the environmental protection laws and administrative rules and regulations, the problems in understanding and implementation of ministerial regulations, and the problems of the interpretation of the environmental protection laws and administrative rules and regulations authorized to the competent department of environmental protection administration under the State Council, are all interpreted by the State Environmental Protection Administration.

Article 4 The interpretation of the rules and regulations promulgated by the State Environmental Protection Administration has universal effectiveness in the implementation and can be used as the basis for the implementation of the laws by the competent departments of environmental protection administration at various levels and other departments which exercise the supervision authority over environmental protection in accordance with the laws and regulations and can also be directly introduced in legal documents on environmental protection enforcement.

Article 5 The State Environmental Protection Administration supervises the circumstances on the interpretation of environmental protection laws and regulations in the implementation by the competent departments of environmental protection administration at various levels, and can also instruct them to correct their behavior or order them to be dismissed if their actual administrative behavior in their implementation of the interpretation of state environmental protection laws and regulations is found to go against the interpretation itself.

Article 6 The interpretation of environmental protection laws and regulations should be formulated by State Environmental Protection Administration if there is any item as follows:
(1) any local competent department of environmental protection administration applies for the interpretation of environmental protection laws and regulations to the State Environmental Protection Administration;
(2) any other state organ suggests or consults to apply for the interpretation of environmental protection laws and regulations to the State Environmental Protection Administration;
(3) the State Environmental Protection Administration considers it necessary to give the interpretation of environmental protection laws and regulations acceding to the circumstances on the administrative implementation of environmental protection laws and regulations;
(4) it is necessary to formulated the interpretation of environmental protection laws and regulations for other circumstances.

Article 7 Where any competent department of environmental protection administration at the levels of province, autonomous region or municipality directly under the Central Government (hereinafter referred to as "competent department of environmental protection administration at provincial level" submits an application for the interpretation of  environmental protection laws and regulations to the State Environmental Protection Administration, its own opinions and the attached main background materials concerned with the case should be submitted at the same time besides the problems it applies for the interpretation.

The application for the interpretation of environmental protection laws and regulations submitted to the State Environmental Protection Administration should be made once only for one matter.

Article 8 The application for the interpretation of environmental protection laws and regulations submitted to the State Environmental Protection Administration by any competent department of environmental protection administration at provincial level should be made in the form of official documents.

If the application is made in other form, it can not be as the basis for handling the interpretation of environmental protection laws and regulations.

Article 9 Where an application for the interpretation of environmental protection laws and regulations is deemed necessary to submit to the State Environmental Protection Administration by competent department of environmental protection administration below provincial level, the application should be first submitted to its competent department of environmental protection administration at provincial level for examination and resolution according to the procedures; the above application for the interpretation of environmental protection laws and regulations submitted to the State Environmental Protection Administration should be made by its competent department of environmental protection administration at provincial level. If an application is necessary to bypass its immediate leadership for some specific circumstances, the application should be copied to the competent department of environmental protection administration at a higher level to be bypassed.

Article 10 The department for policies and Regulations of the State Environmental Protection Administration manages and organizes handling the interpretation of environmental protection laws and regulations.

The other department of the State Environmental Protection Administration should support the Bureau for Policies and Laws and Regulations in handling the interpretation of environmental protection laws and regulations related to their functions.

Article 11 The interpretation of environmental protection laws and regulations should be handled according to the following procedures:
(1) the items to be interpreted should be determined by the department for laws and regulations according to the items listed in Article 6 of the regulations;
(2) if the interpretation draft of environmental protection laws and regulations put forward through the organization and study by the department for laws and regulations involves the interpretation of nuclear security laws and regulations, the interpretation should be made by the department for nuclear security of the State Environmental Protection Administration;
(3) when the department for laws and regulations organizes argumentation, the opinions from state departments concerned should be solicited so as to put forward an interpretation draft of laws and regulations to be submitted for examination;
(4) the interpretation draft should be submitted to minister of the State Environmental Protection Administration to sign and issue.

Article 12 The fixed project on the interpretation of laws and regulations should be completed within two months. The time limit can be appropriately prolonged.

Article 13 The forms of the documents used for the interpretation of laws and regulations are separately as follows:
(1) the form of the documents of the State Environmental Protection Administration should be used for the interpretation of environmental protection laws and administrative laws and regulations;
(2) the form of letters of the State Environmental Protection Administration should be used for the interpretation of rules and regulations of the departments for environmental protection.

Article 14 The interpretation of laws and regulations made by the State Environmental Protection Administration can be, in addition to sending to the department applied to, published on the main nationwide public environmental protection newspaper and publications, which depend on then circumstances, and copied to the State organs concerned if it is necessary.

Article 15 Where the interpretation of laws and regulations formulated by the State Environmental Protection Administration and the former National Environmental Protection Agency is inconsistent with newly promulgated state environmental protection laws and administrative rules and regulations or ministerial rules and regulations, the original interpretation  automatically ceases to be in force.

Article 16 The State Environmental Protection Administration should timely check up on the documents on the interpretation of laws and regulations. The interpretation of laws and regulations needing to be amended, supplemented or abolished should be handled by reference to the procedures of interpretation in the regulations.

Article 17 The state  standards on environmental protection and the industrial standards on environmental protection should be interpreted by the State Environmental Protection Administration, and the interpretation is made by reference to the procedures stipulated in the regulations which is organized by the department for standards of the State Environmental Protection Administration.

Article 18 Where the problems that any local competent department of environmental protection administration applies for the interpretation to the State Environmental Protection Administration or the problems that other state organs suggest the State Environmental Protection Administration make interpretation do not belong to the scope of the interpretation of environmental protection laws and regulations, they should be handled by related departments (offices) in accordance with their respective functions.

Article 19 The interpretation of local environmental protection laws and regulations, local governments environmental protection rules and regulations and local standards on environmental protection should be made by reference to the regulations by the local administrative departments within their authority.

Article 20 The regulations will come into force upon promulgation.

(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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