China updates pollutant emission permit system
BEIJING, Jan. 18 (Xinhua) -- China's top environment authority has issued an updated management guideline to regulate its pollutant emission permit system, making sure every emission into the air, water and soil is supervised, Thursday's China Daily reported.
Based on the provisional document in December 2016 to promote the permit system, the guideline was made public by the Ministry of Environmental Protection, the newspaper said.
The updated guideline highlights the responsibilities of companies including the need to conduct regular monitoring and release information. Violators face tough punishments.
If a company is caught discharging pollutants without a permit, it could be required to suspend production or shut down, and faces a fine of up to 1 million yuan (155,000 U.S. dollars), according to the guideline.
Companies guilty of other violations including excessive emissions and falsifying monitoring data will also face similar penalties of closure and heavy fines.
The permit system has worked in regulating emissions in the past year, and will be more effective when it is expanded to cover all companies with the help of the updated guideline, the ministry said.
In China, 27 provinces have adopted the pollutant emission permit system since the 1980s, and granted permits to more than 240,000 companies before the reform started in 2016.
But problems including a lack of unified standards have lowered the performance, thus making the update necessary, Wang Jian, deputy head of the ministry's department in charge of air pollution control, was quoted by the newspaper as saying.