本期要闻 Highlights of the Month
State of Council: Groundwater Management Regulation
The “Groundwater Management Regulation” is the first Chinese special administrative regulation for groundwater management.
The continuous increase in the exploitation and utilization of groundwater in China has led to a prominent problem in groundwater over-exploitation and pollution in some regions. In order to strengthen groundwater management, the Ministry of Water Resources drafted the “Regulation” to regulate the groundwater resource investigation and planning, water conservation and protection, over-exploitation control, pollution prevention and control, as well as supervision and management.
“Regulation” proposes various measures for groundwater conservation and protection: (1) Control total amount of groundwater intake and water level; (2) define the water saving requirements during water using; (3) apply economic leverage and set out principles of tax confiscation on groundwater resources; (4) refine groundwater protection measures.
To prevent groundwater pollution, the “Regulation” requires a key area classification system for the prevention and control of groundwater pollution to be established; connects the Water Pollution and Soil Pollution Prevention and Control Laws to reinforce the groundwater pollution control (Article 40); specifies industrial wise groundwater pollution prevention measures (Article 41) and establishes the groundwater monitoring system.
最新国家法律法规 New Regulations
Ministry of Ecology and Environment: Hazardous Waste Transfer Management Measures
The new “Measures” is revised on the current “Hazardous Waste Transfer Manifest Management Measures”. The new Measures clarifies the responsibilities of the transferor, the shipper, the carrier and the receiver, and refines the transfer requirements from transfer to acceptance, not only on the operation management of transfer manifest. The new Measures stipulates that the transfer of hazardous waste shall run the electronic form through the national hazardous waste information platform, and the data shall be kept in the information system for at least ten years. It also clarifies the conditions for the transferor to apply for trans-provincial transfer of hazardous waste.
Ministry of Ecology and Environment: Guiding Opinions on the Implementation of Ecological and Environmental Zoning Management and Control of “Three Lines and One List” (Trial)
The Guiding Opinions clarifies the management requirements of “Three Lines and One List” (Ecological Protection Red Line, Environmental Quality Bottom Line, Resource Utilization Upper Line and Environmental Access Negative List), including updates and adjustments, tracking and evaluation, and sharing and publicity etc.
To facilitate the application of “Three Lines and One List”, Opinions emphasize the application in policy formulation, industrial park management to prevent environmental pollution from the sources and reduce the environmental risks. The Opinion put forward the basic requirements for optimizing the spatial layout, high-quality service development, coordinating pollution reduction with carbon reduction, and strengthening of the source control of the” high pollution and high energy consumption” industries.
National Development and Reform Commission: Notice on Issuing Benchmark Level and Baseline Level of Energy Efficiency in Key Areas of High Energy-Consuming Industries (2021 Edition)
The Notice benchmarks the advanced energy efficiency levels of domestic and international production companies, takes reference of the advanced values, access values, and restrict values of the current national energy consumption quota standards per unit of product, and delineates the energy efficiency benchmark levels and baseline levels in key industries, which will be the important basis in project management for the “High Pollution and High Energy Consumption”, and guiding enterprises to implement energy-saving and carbon-reducing transformations.
The Notice lists the energy efficiency benchmarks and baseline levels in five key main industries with10 medium categories and 20 sub-categories. The key industries include crude oil processing and petroleum product manufacturing, coking, coal-based liquid fuel production, inorganic alkali manufacturing, phosphate fertilizer manufacturing, cement manufacturing, flat glass manufacturing, building ceramic product manufacturing, sanitary ceramic product manufacturing, ironmaking, and steel refining, ferroalloy smelting, copper smelting, lead-zinc smelting and so on.
The Notice requires entities to implement transformation, upgrading and phase out in batches within a time limit. For the projects that requires technological transformation, local governments must define the timeline for transformation, upgrading and phase out (generally no more than 3 years) and the annual transformation and phase out plan. Projects that cannot be upgraded on time shall be phased out. Projects whose energy efficiency is lower than the industrial benchmark level and fail to be retrofitted and upgraded on schedule, energy consumption will be restricted.
Announcement of the State Administration for Market Regulation on Matters Concerning the Administrative Licensing of Special Equipment
The Announcement revises and adjusts the “List of Licensing for Special Equipment Producers”, the “Classification and Items of the Qualification of Special Equipment Operators”, the “Items of the Qualification of Special Equipment Inspectors and Testers” released in 2019, and newly formulates the “Approval Items of Special Equipment Inspection and Testing Institutions.”
In the newly revised “List of Licensing for Special Equipment Producers”, the “Provisions on the Qualification of Production Units that can be Engaged in the Installation of Pressure Vessels and Pressure Pipelines” is added, which stipulate the installation of special equipment level that enterprises could engage while holding boiler installation license, pressure vessel manufacturing license and pressure pipeline installation license. Meanwhile, “Classification and Items of the Qualification of Special Equipment Operators” witnesses no change.
Notice on Issuing the Classification Catalogue of Medical Waste (2021 Edition)
The revised Catalogue extends the original five categories and characteristics, and adds classification management requirements, collection methods and exemption management under corresponding conditions.
Annex 1 “Classification Catalogue of Medical Waste” classifies and refines the five common components or waste names including infectious waste, traumatic waste, pathological waste, pharmaceutical waste and chemical waste, adds the collection method of medical wastes and further specifies the storage method and collection management requirements of medical waste. Annex 2 “Medical Waste Exemption Management List” stipulates that some non-risk or low-risk medical wastes can be exempted in accordance with the provisions of the exemption content when the corresponding conditions are met.
最新国家标准New National Standards
HJ 1200-2021 Technical Specification for Application and Issuance of Pollutant Permit—Industrial Solid Waste (On Trial)
HJ 1209—2021 Technical guidelines of soil and groundwater self-monitoring for industrial enterprises
立法草案 Policy Initiatives & Developments
Ministry of Ecology and Environment: Opinions on Further Strengthening the Prevention and Control of Heavy Metal Pollution (Draft for Consultation)
《意见》提出进一步强化重金属污染防控的主要目标：到2025年，重点行业产业结构进一步优化，全国重点行业重点重金属污染物排放量比 2020 年下降5%以上。
The Opinions defines the main goal of the heavy metal pollution prevention and control: by 2025, further optimizing the industrial structure of key industries, and key heavy metal pollutants discharge in key industries shall be reduced by more than 5% compared with 2020.
The Opinions proposes the focus of heavy metal pollution prevention and control will be on key heavy metal pollutants, key industries and key regions. Key heavy metal pollutants include lead, mercury, cadmium, chromium, arsenic and thallium. Key industries are 6 industries including heavy non-ferrous metal mines (including associated minerals) mining and dressing, heavy non-ferrous metal smelting (including recycling smelting), lead storage battery manufacturing, electroplating industry, chemical raw materials and chemical products manufacturing (including calcium carbide method PVC manufacturing, chromium salt manufacturing, and zinc inorganic compound industry using industrial solid waste as raw materials) and leather tanning and processing industry.
The Opinions proposes the main tasks: applying stricter environmental access and optimizing the industrial structure and layout of heavy metal related industries; continuously promoting the pollutant reduction of heavy metal through differentiating grading and classification system; strengthening environmental treatment of heavy metal in a systematic approach; promoting the treatment of legacy problems related to heavy metals; reinforcing the supervision and enforcement on heavy metal pollution.
最新地方性法规 Regional Updates
Shanghai Municipality: Detailed Plan to Promote Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) Comprehensive Control in Key Industries in Shanghai.
In order to accelerate the implementation of the Shanghai VOC 2.0 program, which was stipulated in the “Notice on Carrying out the VOCs Comprehensive Control in Key Industries in Shanghai Municipality” (Hu Huan Qi  No.41) and the “Special Support Fund Measures to Deepen VOC Treatment Projects of Key Industry Enterprises in Shanghai Municipality” (Hu Huan Gui  No.13) , the Detailed Plan further clarifies the requirements for VOC2.0 program and requires entities to complete the VOCs treatment projects and the corresponding tasks by the end of 2022 and calculate VOCs emission reductions in accordance with the “Technical Guidance for Emission Reduction Accounting of VOCs Deepening Treatment Projects of Key Industry Enterprises in Shanghai (Trial) ”(Hu Huan Qi  No. 239), as the basis for subsequent applications for acceptance and VOCs emission reduction subsidies.
Shanghai Municipality: the Revision of the “Regulations of Shanghai Municipality on Environmental Protection”
Major revisions are to align with the “Yangtze River Protection Law” and the “Law on the Prevention and Control of Environment Pollution Caused by Solid Wastes”, the Regulations adds the requirements for the government to formulate the control measures and the access list of ecological environment zoning, improves the supervision of the new, upgrade and expansion of pollutant discharge outlets, water embargo and the joint waste prevention and control mechanism in the Yangtze River Delta, and revises the corresponding punishment provisions.