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4th Session of 13th NPC Standing Committee Prioritizes Finalization of Environmental Protection Legislation

1.Zhanshu Li highlighted important pending environmental protection regulations/standards in the Standing Committee, urging an acceleration of the legislative process. 2.The List of Toxic and Harmful Air Pollutants to be expected in 2018 3.China will focus on building a Pollutants Emission Permit System by 2020

The 4th session of the 13th National People’s Congress (NPC) Standing Committee convened on July 9th and 10th, a month ahead of schedule. The early meeting is designed to follow State Council’s recent publication of the “Notice of Three-year Plan on Defending the Blue Sky”. (Previous CL News). During the meeting, Mr. Zhanshu Li, the Chairman of the NPC Standing Committee 4th Session outlines current progress and offered some explanations on delays in promulgation of new legislation.

The Air Pollution Prevention Law (大气污染防治法) has been implemented since Jan 1, 2016, although some ancillary regulations are still missing. Mr. Zhanshu Li summarized the pending regulations/standards which will be implemented in future to support The Air Pollution Prevention Law:

 

The Air Pollution Prevention Law

Status Quo

Article 19

Measures and Implementation of pollutants emission permit shall be prescribed by the State Council

MEP(Current MEE) published the Measures of the Management on Pollutants Emission Permit (Trial) on Jan 10, 2018 which took effect immediately

Article 37

Prohibited to import, sell and burn petroleum coke that doesn’t meet the quality standards

Quality standards are in absence

Article 46

Industrial coating companies should use coatings with low VOC contents

Related limitation standards are in absence

Article 58

Establish an environmental protection recall system for motor vehicles and non-road mobile machinery.

The system is in absence

Article 78

Publish a list of toxic and harmful air pollutants and implement risk management

The List is in absence

Article 19 emphasizes State Council’s responsibility to implement the pollutants emission permit. Compared to the trial measures published by MEP, the policy’s strength will be increased from departmental regulation to national law. In addition to VOC management the Pollution Emission Permit System is a top priority task for policymakers.

Accelerating the development of support regulations and standards is also a key issue:

  • MEE to publish the List of Toxic and Harmful Air Pollutants by end of 2018

  • The State Council to formulate Regulations on the Administration of Pollution Emission Permit by end of 2019

  • Pollution Emission Permit system to be the core system in fixed source environmental management, achieving” one-permit” management by 2020.

In the last 20 days China has taken 2 significant steps forward in tackling its environmental issues head on, the first is the release of its environmental protection roadmap for the next 3 years “Three-year Plan on Defending the Blue Sky” and the second was detailed in the July 9th and 10th meeting of the NPC Standing Committee which sorted current circumstances and blueprinted legislative reform plans in following years.

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