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Measures on Qualification Authentication for Operating Environmental Protection Facilities (on Trial)

(Promulgated by the State Environmental Protection Administration on March 26,1999)

Chapter I General Provisions

Article 1  Pursuant to the stipulations of the State Council that the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) shall establish and implement the authentication of the environmental protection qualification, this Measures is formulated for the purpose of strengthening supervision of the operation of environmental protection facilities, improving management of the operation of these facilities, bringing into full play the profits of investment in environmental protection, and promoting the commercialization of the operation of these facilities.

Article 2  For the purpose of this Measures, operation of environmental protection facilities refers to environmental protection enterprises specialized in professional operation of environmental protection facilities or treatment of pollutants (the service provider), as entrusted by pollutants discharging units (the consignor), conducting professional operation of environmental protection facilities or treatment of pollutants. Operation of environmental protection facilities shall be an onerous social service. The service provider shall conduct autonomous management, assume sole responsibility for its profits and losses, bear the liability as entrusted, and guarantee the normal operation of the facilities and sound discharge of pollutants.

Article 3  For the purpose of this Measures, authentication of qualification of operating environmental facilities refers to the examination and approval of the technical capacity, capital capacity, management level and qualification of staff of units engaging in the management and operation of environmental protection facilities by the competent department of environmental protection administration of the state. Units engaging in the management and operation of such facilities within the territory of the People's Republic of China can apply for the Qualification Certificate for Operating Environmental Protection Facilities (hereinafter referred to as the "Operation Certificate").

Article 4  The Operation Certificate falls into six categories, which are domestic sewage, industrial effluent, dust precipitation and desulfurating, toxic and harmful gases, house refuse and industrial solid wastes.

Article 5  The Operation Certificate shall be uniformly administrated and issued by the State Environmental Protection Administration. The competent departments of environmental protection administration of provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government shall cooperate with SEPA in its management. The competent departments of environmental protection administration at the municipality and county level are responsible for the examination and supervision of the use of the Operation Certificate.

Chapter II   Conditions and Procedure of the Application

Article 6  A unit applying for the Operation Certificate shall meet following requirements:

(1) Meeting stipulations of the state, being established according to legal procedure after approval, and assuming the standing of an independent legal person; units within an industrial enterprise and engaged in the professional and commercial management and operation of environmental protection facilities are exempted from the requirement of standing as a legal person;

(2) Having stable organization and permanent working sites;

(3) Possessing sound bank credit, financial status, and being able to pay off debts in compliance with its business scale;

(4) Possessing relevant experimental and testing equipment, and having established the complete technology and quality management systems;

(5) Being experienced in the management and operation of environmental protection facilities, with the facilities it operates running smoothly for over one year and meeting the state or local discharge standards; and

(6) Executive staff of the unit having relevant experience in project design, debug operation and management, and having comprehensive knowledge of the technical theories of the facilities, the process flow, the operational conditions, factors affecting their operation, and counter-measures to deal with problems. Meanwhile, the unit shall have engineering and technical staff of relevant professional fields and operators that have received systematic professional training.

Article 7  A unit applying for the Operation Certificate shall fill in the application form, and provide following application materials:

(1) A copy of its business license of the legal person as an enterprise, or a copy of its certificate of legal person as an institution;

(2) Letters of certificate of its office, experimental labs or testing sites;

(3) Two or more examples of its involvement in the management and operation of environmental protection facilities, including brief introduction to the operation program, operation entrusting contracts, opinion of clients, and facilities operation monitoring data; and

(4) Financial status of the previous year.

Article 8  Application for the Operation Certificate shall follow this procedure:

(1) The applying unit shall apply to the State Environmental Protection Administration, get the Operation Certificate Application Form in triplication, and fill them out as required;

(2) The applying unit shall submit the Operation Certificate Application Form and related application materials to the competent department of environmental protection administration of its local province, autonomous region or municipality directly under the Central Government for preliminary examination, and then submit the materials with conclusion of preliminary examination to the State Environmental Protection Administration for examination; and

(3) Upon examination of the materials and on-site inspection, the State Environmental Protection Administration shall issue the Operation Certificate to those meeting the requirements.

Article 9  Professional environmental protection enterprises without experience in the management and operation of environmental protection facilities, and units within an industrial enterprise and engaged in the professional and commercial management and operation of environmental protection facilities, can refer to this Measures and apply for a Provisional Operation Certificate, and can exchange this for the Operation Certificate one year later upon passing the examination.

Chapter III Management and Supervision

Article 10  When any major change occurs in terms of the organization, staff, assets and professional scope of operation and other qualification factors, holders of the Operation Certificate shall promptly report to the State Environmental Protection Administration for record and undergo the modification procedure.

Article 11  The State Environmental Protection Administration shall organize annual examination of the issuance and use of the Operation Certificate, and conduct irregular sample examinations. Holders of the certificate shall, in December each year, provide materials in writing in accordance with the contents of the examination, and undergo the annual examination procedure at the competent departments of environmental protection administration of its local province, autonomous region or municipality directly under the Central Government. Major contents of the annual and sample examinations includes:

(1) Qualification of the units holding the certificate;

(2) Qualification of the staff;

(3) Implementation of contracts;

(4) Systems for the management and operation of the facilities, and their implementation;

(5) Status of the management and operation of the facilities; and

(6) Status of discharge.

Article 12  Certificate holders shall strictly abide by the contents of the operation contract. In the following cases, the State Environmental Protection Administration shall, in accordance with the circumstances, order the violator to put right the wrong action, issue a notice of blame or withdraw the Operation Certificate. When serious result occurs, relevant departments shall investigate into the matter and impose  financial and legal liabilities according to law:

(1) As a result of improper management or operation, failing to meet relevant requirements or standards, or causing serious pollution accidents or economic losses;

(2) Being unable to conduct operation of the facilities due to condition changes;

(3) Infringing relevant stipulations of this Rules, altering, forging, or lending to others the certificate;

(4) Refusing to accept examinations or failing to undergo the annual examination procedure without sound reasons; or

(5) Failing to pass the annual examination in two successive years.

Article 13  The term of validity of the Operation Certificate is three years. Holders of the certificate can apply to the competent departments of environmental protection administration of its local province, autonomous region or municipality directly under the Central Government for extension of the term within six months prior to the expiry date, and submit the application with conclusion of the local department to the State Environmental Protection Administration. The State Environmental Protection Administration shall conduct reexamination of the extension application, and issue a new Operation Certificate in exchange for the old one to those passing the reexamination.

Chapter IV   Supplementary Provisions

Article 14  The Operation Certificate and the Operation Certificate Application Form shall be uniformly printed by the State Environmental Protection Administration.

Article 15  This Measures shall be interpreted by the State Environmental Protection Administration. The Measures for its implementation shall be formulated later.

Article 16  This Measures shall enter into force on the date of 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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