Unlicensed Waste Discharged Is to Face Historically High Penalties According to the Ministry of Ecology and Environment


Ecoteda.org has just reported that the Ministry’s new Administrative Regulations on the Permission of Waste Discharge stipulate that unlicensed waste discharge shall be fined 5,000 to 50,000 RMB per day.

The new Administrative Regulations had been passed by the penal of specialist led by the Minister and are now being released to collect public feedback, which might only of nominal influence on the content of the Regulations.

Moreover, the Regulations have 23 clauses in the chapter regarding the legal consequences of unlicensed waste discharge, covering scenarios ranging from unlicensed discharges, the discharges in violations of Waste Discharge Permit, the lack of discharge supervision and the disobedience during governmental inspections, wherein every scenario is linked to a certain level of financial punishment.

It might be worth noting that China issued its first waste discharge license only since late 2016 and early 2017, when companies from 15 industries, particularly, the industries of thermal electricity, paper, steel and cement making, were required to apply. Also, in addition to financial penalties, the companies in violation of the Regulations shall also be temporarily shut down for a certain period of time (during which the daily fine shall be paid), and shall resume business after the violation is deemed properly addressed by responsible local authorities.

Finally, the Regulations intentionally include minor penalty clauses and the amount of maximum penalty for each illegal scenario to put restrictions on law enforcement. The following behaviour shall qualify companies for minor penalties: 1, the companies that are able to report the situations of abnormal or excessive discharges in time; 2, those that actively admit wrongdoing and take actions to contain its damage to the environment; 3, those that willingly collaborate with law enforcement.