In the last twelve months the Ministry of Environmental
Protection (MEP) in the People's Republic of China (PRC) has
been remarkably vocal about environmental law, monitoring, and
fraud, especially under the new
environmental law and supplemental measures.
For instance, the MEP
announced on June 16, 2015, that it had organized local
branches that were responsible for the monitoring of pollution
sources to "intensify the supervision and inspection on the
operation and management status of automatic monitoring
facilities" and to bring to justice any identified
"environmental offences including fraudulent monitoring
data...." The announcement was made to trumpet the MEP's
efforts to enforce the new revised environment protection law, and
its crack down on monitoring data fraud.
In the MEP announcement, Zou Shoumin, the Director General of
Environmental Supervision and Inspection Bureau, provided details
for numerous examples of fraud cases. To illustrate the severity of
these cases, in one example, the company received a penalty of 1.45
million yuan (about $233,000) and had confiscated one million yuan
(about $160,000) of its incompliance deposit. In the same incident,
a manager who was in charge of the company's environmental
protection and the manager who was heading the company's
instrument department were both subjected to a "7-day
administrative detention," because of the company's
"willful modification of online monitoring data."
announcement from the MEP, it was proclaimed that in a legal
explanation issued by the PRC Supreme People's Court,
"polluters will be held accountable for any discharge,
even if it is within national or local standards, that
causes damage." According to the announcement, as an incentive
for companies to expedite costly modifications to reduce
pollutants, a daily penalty system was introduced with no limit set
on fines. More than that, polluting enterprises will be "named
and shamed." Reiterating the country's seriousness as to
environmental violations, the Chinese Premier, Li Keqiang, said in
March, that "polluters will pay a price 'too high to
bear' for their illegal acts."
announcement to demonstrate the seriousness of these issues, it
was noted that there was an "urgent requirement for taking
strong measures to crack down on environmental violations."
Under the revised environmental law and supplemental measures the
MEP will be adopting stronger measures to "substantially
aggravate the punishment." Continuous daily fines, seizure and
distrainment of property, restricted production, suspension for
rectification, and administrative detention or individual managers
are among the tools that the MEP will now use to enforce the
Multinational businesses and industries that have interests and
facilities in China may wish to examine the extent of any potential
liability for their holdings, especially since the "polluters
will be held accountable for any discharge, even if it is within
national or local standards."
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
An inevitable consequence of development and industrial progress is generation of waste. Therefore, efficient waste management is a matter of international concern.
Some comments from our readers… “The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable” “I often find critical information not available elsewhere” “As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).