Decree of the State Environmental Protection Administration No. 3
Measures on the Management of Environmental Standards was adopted upon the discussion at the executive meeting of the State Environmental Protection Administration on January 5, 1999 are now promulgated for implement.
Minister Xie Zhenhua
State Environmental Protection Administration
April 1, 1999
Chapter I General Provisions
Article 1 The Measures are formulated for the purpose of strengthening the management of environmental standards, according to related stipulations of the Environmental Protection Law of the People's Republic of China and the Standardization Law of the People's Republic of China.
Article 2 The Measures shall apply to formulating, implementing environmental standards and supervising the implementation of environmental standards.
Article 3 To prevent and control environmental pollution, to safeguard the ecological balance and to protect people's health, the competent departments of environmental protection administrations under the State Council and provincial, autonomous region and municipality governments should, in line with related rules and regulations of the State, formulate environmental standards for various technical code and specifications that require uniformity in environmental protection.
The environmental standards consist of national standards, local standards and the standards of the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA standards).
National environmental standards include national environmental quality, national pollutant emission (or control) standards, standards for national environmental monitoring methods, standards for national environmental standard samples and national environmental basic standards.
Local environmental standards cover local environmental quality standards and local pollutant emission (or control) standard.
Article 4 The national environmental standards and the SEPA standards shall be implemented nationwide. Upon issuance of the national environmental standards, the corresponding standards of the SEPA shall be automatically repealed.
The local environmental standards shall be implemented within the scope of the provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities, where the standards are issued.
Article 5 The environmental standards consist of mandatory environmental standard and recommended environmental standards.
The environmental standards, pollutant emission standards and other environmental standards that must be implemented as stipulated in the laws and administrative rules and regulations are part of the mandatory environmental standards. The mandatory environmental standards must be implemented.Those environmental standards other than the mandatory environmental standards shall be belong to recommended standards which are encouraged to be adopted by the State. If the recommended environmental standards are quoted in the mandatory environmental standards, they must be also implemented compulsorily.
Article 6 The SEPA shall be responsible for managing the national environmental standards, formulating national environmental standards and the SEPA standards, inspecting the local environmental standards for the record, and guiding the management of the local environmental standard.
The competent departments of the environmental protection administrations of the people's governments above the county level shall be responsible for the environmental standards within their jurisdiction. They shall organize the local people to implement the national environmental standards, the SEPA standards and the local environmental standards.
Chapter II Formulation of Environmental Standards
Article 7 Corresponding environmental standards shall be formulated for the following technical code and specifications that require uniformity:
(1) Environmental quality standards shall be formulated to protect the natural environment, people's health and social wealth, and to restrict harmful materials and factors of the environment;
(2) Pollutant emission (or control) standards shall be formulated by combining technical and economic conditions and environmental characteristics. The aim is to meet environmental quality standards, limit pollutants discharged into the environment and other factors of doing harm to the environment;
(3) National standard of methods for monitoring the environment shall be formulated so as to monitor the environmental quality, pollutant emission, standard sampling, analyses and tests, and data processing;
(4) National environmental standard samples shall be formulated for materials and material samples that are used in quantity transmission or quality control, so as to guarantee the accuracy and reliability of the environmental monitoring data; and
(5) National environmental basic standards shall be formulated for technical terms, symbols, codes, graphs, manuals, guiding rules and information codes, which require uniformity in environmental protection.
Article 8 The SEPA standards shall be formulated when the national environmental standards are absent and unified technical specifications are required in nationwide environmental protection.
Article 9 The people's governments at provincial, autonomous region and municipality levels are allowed to formulate local environmental quality standards for those items that are not included in the national environmental quality standards. They are allowed to formulate local pollutant emission standard for those items that are not included in the national pollutant emission standards. For those items that are included in the national pollutant emission standards, these governments are allowed to formulate stricter local pollutant emission standards than that of the national standards.
Article 10 The following principles shall be followed while formulating environmental standards:
(1) The uniformity of environmental efficiacy, economic returns and social benefits shall be promoted on the basis of the principles, policies, laws, rules and related regulations, and for the purpose of protecting people's health and improving the quality of environment;
(2) Environmental standards shall be corresponded to the technical competence of the country and the bearing capability of social economy;
(3) Various environmental standards shall be coordinated and matched;
(4) All standards shall be implemented and supervised in a convenient manner; and
(5) International standards and standards of other countries that are suited to China's situation shall be drawn on.
Article 11 The following basic procedures should be followed while formulating environmental standards:
(1) Making a plan for the formulation (revision) of standards;
(2) Organizing the preparation of the drafts of standards;
(3) Collecting comments on the drafts of standard;
(4) Organizing discussion of the drafts of standards;
(5) Examining and approving the drafts of standards; and
(6) Numbering and promulgating the environmental standards according to the procedures as stipulated in various environmental standards.
Article 12 The State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) may consign other organizations to work out the national environmental standards and the SEPA standards. The consignee should be conformed with the followings:
(1) Possessing professional technical personnel who are familiar with national environmental protection laws, rules and regulations, environmental standards, and who can draft environmental standards; and
(2) Possessing corresponding analyses and testing means for drawing up the standard for the methods to monitor the environment.
Article 13 The competent departments of the environmental protection administrations of the people's governments at provincial, autonomous region and municipality levels are allowed to, in line with the needs of local environmental management, organize and draw up the draft of local environmental standards. The draft shall be submitted to governments of the province, autonomous region or municipality for approval, and then be promulgated.
Opinions from the SEPA shall be solicited for the draft of local environmental standards.
Article 14 Local environmental standards shall be submitted to the SEPA for the record within two months from the date of promulgation.
The materials for the record shall include the document of promulgated standards, standard text and the interpretations for drawing up the standards.
Article 15 Upon implementation of the national environmental standards and SEPA standards, the SEPA shall, in line with the needs of environmental management and national economic and technological development, make timely examinations of the standards. Any standards that are not in conformity with the actual need shall be amended or nullified.
According to the situation of the local environment, economy and technology, and the formulation (amendment) of national environmental standards and the SEPA standards, the competent departments of environmental protection administration under the people's governments at provincial, autonomous region and municipality levels shall propose amendment or nullification of local environmental standards in time to people's governments at provincial, autonomous region and municipality levels.
Chapter III Implementation and Supervision of Environmental Standards
Article 16 Implementation of environmental quality standards:
(1) While implementing environmental quality standard, the competent departments of environmental protection of local governments above the county level shall divide their jurisdiction area into different functional districts on consideration of the purpose of their utilization and protection of the environmental essential factors. Corresponding management for classified standards shall be conducted according to the requirements of environmental quality standards for different functional districts.
(2) The competent departments of the environmental protection administrations of governments above the county level should, according to State stipulations, select monitoring points and sections. The approved monitoring points and sections should not be changed wilfully.
(3) The environmental monitoring stations at various levels and relevant environmental monitoring institutions shall monitor the environmental quality by using the sampling methods, frequency and analysis methods as stipulated in the environmental quality standards and other related environmental standards relevant to the environmental quality standards.
(4) The units who are responsible for appraising environmental influences shall appraise the environmental quality in light of environmental quality standards.
(5) In implementing environmental quality standards the disputes caused by rivers and lakes that cross provinces, or atmospheric transmissions, shall be coordinated and resolved by competent departments of the environmental protection administrations of people's governments at the provincial, autonomous region and municipality levels. When the coordination fails, the disputes shall be reported to the SEPA for resolution.
Article 17 Implementation of pollutant emission standards:
(1) While approving environmental impact statements (table) of a construction project, competent department of the environmental protection administration of people's government above the county level shall define the pollutant emission standards for the project in light of the following factors and situations:
1. Types of construction projects, environmental functional districts in which it is located, types of pollutants to be discharged, locality where pollutants are discharged into, and approved time of the environmental impact statement (table) of the projects.
2. While discharging pollutants into an area where the local pollutant emission standards are available, the project should implement the local standards. If there is no index value in the local pollutant emission standards, the corresponding index value as stipulated in the national pollutant emission standards shall be implemented.
3. If the construction project is in the area where the full amount of discharged pollutants is under control, the index value of the total amount of control for pollutants discharged shall also be implemented for the specific discharging unit of the project while determining it's applicable pollutants emission standards.
4. If the project is imported from abroad and there is no corresponding index value of pollutant emission stipulated in either national or local pollutant emission standards, the unit which imported the project should submit current pollutant emission standards for the pollutants to be discharged from the project and related technical information from the exporter of the project or from other developed countries. The competent departments of environmental protection administration of city (prefecture) governments shall, combining local conditions of environment, economy and technology, suggest pollutant emission standards for the project. The standards shall be submitted to competent departments of environmental protection administration of the people's governments of province, autonomous region and municipality for approval, and to the SEPA for the record.
(2) From the design, construction, acceptance to putting into production, the pollutant emission standards as set in the environmental impact statement (table) which is approved by the competent department of environmental protection administration shall be implemented for the project.
(3) While discharging pollutants, the enterprises, institutions, and individual industrialists and businessmen should carry out corresponding national and local pollutant emission standards according to their trade type, environmental functional districts, types of pollutants discharged and the locality where the pollutants are discharged into. The competent departments of the environmental protection administration shall strengthen inspection and examination.
Article 18 Implementation of standards for national environmental monitoring methods:
(1) The standards for monitoring methods which are quoted from the mandatory standards, such as the environmental quality standards and pollutant emission standards etc. must be implemented.
(2) While monitoring the environment, the sampling positions and sampling frequencies shall be defined in light of environmental quality standards and pollutant emission standards. The tests and calculations should be carried out in accordance with the standards for national environmental monitoring methods.
(3) In case there are no corresponding standards for national environmental monitoring in local environmental quality standards and pollutant emission standards, the competent departments of the environmental protection administration of provincial, autonomous region and municipality governments should develop local, uniform analyses methods. The methods can be implemented with local environmental quality standards or pollutant emission standards. On issuance of standards for national environmental monitoring methods, the local uniform analysis method should cease being used.
(4) Any disputes of monitoring data arising from adopting standards for environmental monitoring methods of different countries shall be adjudicated by the competent departments of the environmental protection administrations at higher level or take a retest with an appointed country's standard for environmental monitoring method.
Article 19 National environmental standard samples shall be used in the following environmental monitoring activities:
(1) Examining quality control of the laboratory for environmental monitoring analysis, and analysis personnel at various levels;
(2) Calibrating and examining analysis instruments;
(3) Compounding standard solutions; and
(4) Verifying analysis methods and other environmental monitoring activities.
Article 20 National environmental basic standards and SEPA standards shall be implemented in the following activities:
(1) While using technology of environmental protection, the standards for environmental technology should be implemented;
(2) While the graphic symbols are required at pollutant discharge orifice and at pollutants handling and disposing places, the standards for national environmental protection graphic symbols shall be implemented;
(3) The standards for environmental protection files, information classification and coding shall be adopted while classifying and coding files and information of environmental protection;
(4) While formulating various environmental standards, the compiling technical principles and specification of environmental standards shall be adopted;
(5) While zoning various environmental function districts, the technical specifications for zoning environmental function districts shall be implemented;
(6) Relevant technical guidance and codes for environmental appraisal shall be implemented; ( While conducting appraisal of ecological and environmental quality impact, )
(7) Technical specifications and standards of natural reserves shall be adopted while constructing and managing these reserves;
(8) SEPA standards concerning instruments and equipment shall be adopted while certifying special instruments and equipment for environmental protection; and
(9) Other environmental protection activities that need the implementation of national environmental basic standards or SEPA standards.
Article 21 The SEPA should be responsible for the interpretation of the national environmental standards and SEPA standards. The SEPA might consign the interpretation to relevant technical units.
Article 22 The competent department of environmental protection administration of the people's government above county level should regard the implementation of environmental standards as an important matter to be reported to the people's government at the same level and the competent department of environmental protection administrations at higher level.
Article 23 The SEPA should be responsible for inspecting the supervision and implementation of pollutant emission standards by the local competent departments of environmental protection administrations.
Article 24 If the national environmental quality standards and pollutant emission standards are formulated without authority and in violation of the provisions of State laws, rules and regulations, they shall become null and void.
Article 25 Those who refuse to implement mandatory environmental standards shall be punished in accordance with relevant provisions of laws, rules and regulations.
Chapter IV Supplementary Provisions
Article 26 The SEPA standards in these Measures refer to trade standards of environmental protection.
Article 27 The SEPA shall consign a related publishing house to publish the national environmental standards and SEPA standards.
Article 28 This Measures shall be come into force from the date of promulgation and the Management Measures on Environmental Protection Standards of the People's Republic of China shall be annulled simultaneously.
Article 29 The SEPA should be responsible for the interpretations of this Measures.
(This English version is for your reference only.In case any discrepancy exists between the Chinese and English context, the Chinese version shall prevail.)