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Trial Pollutant Discharge Licensing Measures Implemented

New regulations governing the issuance of pollutant discharge licences have been introduced by the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP). Billed as the Administrative Measures for Pollutant Discharge Licensing (Trial Implementation), these regulations also detail the legal responsibilities of environmental protection departments, pollutant discharge units and any third-party institutions active within the sector.

The Measures cover five specific areas – the responsibility of enterprises, self-monitoring requirements, record keeping, implementation reports, and information disclosure. In particular, they emphasise that any enterprise applying for a pollutant discharge licence is obliged to ensure that all submissions, including any supporting documents, are legitimate and complete. Once the licence has been secured, the pollutant discharge unit must then maintain a stringent self-monitoring regime, while ensuring that all of its activities are duly and accurately logged.

In the case of supervision and law-enforcement departments, the Measures specify that they must devise and implement an appropriate system for monitoring licensed pollutant discharge units. This should include provision for comparing the actual volume of material discharged with the specified permitted level and ensuring that any requirements specified in the licence are properly undertaken and duly recorded in the official log, while also determining whether the unit’s own records tally with other data sources, including those of online monitoring stations.

In any instances where there is a breach of the prevailing regulations, the relevant supervision and law-enforcement departments must also ensure that prosecution is pursued in due course. Prosecutable breaches include the unlicensed discharge of pollutants, discharging pollutants contrary to the terms of the licence, the submission of fraudulent materials in order to secure a pollutant discharge licence, failure to implement or maintain a self-monitoring regime or failing to disclose environmental information at the request of a duly appointed legal body.

For further details (in Chinese), please visit the following link:

Administrative Measures for Pollutant Discharge Licensing (Trial Implementation)

Content provided by Picture: HKTDC Research
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