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中华人民共 和国环境保护法(英文版)

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Promulgation date

1989/12/26

Effective region

NATIONAL

Promulgator

Standing Committee of the National People's Congress

Document no

Order of the President of the People' Republic of China [1989] No. 22

Effectiveness

Effective

Effective date

1989/12/26

Category

Environmental Protection ( Environment Law->Environmental Protection )



Environmental Protection Law of the People's Republic of China
 

Order of the President of the People' Republic of China [1989] No. 22
 

December 26, 1989
 

(OMITTED)

Attachment: Environmental Protection Law of the People's Republic of China
 

Contents
Chapter I General Provisions
 
Chapter II Supervision and Management of the Environment
 
Chapter III Protection and Improvement of the Environment
 
Chapter IV Prevention and Control of Environmental Pollution and Other Public Hazards
 
Chapter V Legal Liability
 
Chapter VI Supplementary Provisions
 

Chapter I General Provisions
 

Article 1 This Law has been formulated for the purpose of protecting and improving both the living environment and the ecological environment, preventing and controlling pollution and other public hazards, safeguarding human health and facilitating the development of socialist modernization.
 

Article 2 The term "environment" as used in this Law refers to the total body of all nature and artificially transformed natural elements that affect human existence and development, including the atmosphere, water, seas, land, minerals, forests, grasslands, wildlife, natural human remains, nature reserves, historic sites and scenic spots, and urban and rural areas.
 


Article 3 This Law shall apply to the territory of the People's Republic of China and other waters under the jurisdiction of the People's Republic of China.
 

Article 4 Environmental protection plans formulated by the state must be incorporated into national economic and social development plans; the state shall adopt economic and technological policies and measures that favor the protection of the environment so as to integrate environmental protection work with economic construction and social development.
 

Article 5 The state shall encourage the development of education on environmental protection science, strengthen the study and development of environmental protection science and technology, raise scientific and technological standards in environmental protection and foster the spread of scientific knowledge on environmental protection.
 

Article 6 All units and individuals shall have an obligation to protect the environment and shall have the right to report or file charges against any unit or individual that causes the pollution of or damage to the environment.
 

Article 7 The competent administrative department of environmental protection under the State Council shall supervise and manage environmental protection work throughout the country in a unified manner.
 
The competent administrative departments of environmental protection of the local people's governments at or above the county level shall supervise and manage environmental protection work within the respective areas under their jurisdiction in a unified manner.
 
The State Administrative Department of Marine Affairs, the Harbor Superintendency Administration, the Fisheries Administration and fishing harbor superintendency agencies, the Environmental Protection Department of the armed forces and the administrative departments of public security, communications, railways and civil aviation at all levels shall, in accordance with the provisions of relevant laws, supervise and manage the prevention and control of environmental pollution.
 
The competent administrative departments of land, minerals, forestry, agriculture and water conservancy of the people's governments at or above the county level shall, in accordance with the provisions of relevant laws, supervise and manage the protection of natural resources.
 

Article 8 The people's government shall give awards to units and individuals that
 
make outstanding contributions to the protection and improvement of the environment.
 

Chapter II Supervision and Management of the Environment
 

Article 9 The competent administrative department of environmental protection under the State Council shall formulate national environmental quality standards.
 
The people's governments of provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government may formulate local environmental quality standards for matters not specified in national environmental quality standards and shall submit them to the competent administrative department of environmental protection under the State Council for the record.
 

Article 10 The competent administrative department of environmental protection under the State Council shall, in accordance with national environmental quality standards and the country's economic and technological conditions, formulate national standards for the discharge of pollutants.
 
The people's governments of provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government may formulate local standards for the discharge of pollutants for matters not specified in national standards; with regard to items already specified in national standards, they may set local standards that are more stringent than national standards and submit the same to the competent administrative department of environmental protection under the State Council for the record.
 
Units that discharge pollutants in areas where local standards for the discharge of pollutants have been established shall observe such local standards.
 

Article 11 The competent administrative department of environmental protection under the State Council shall establish a monitoring system, formulate monitoring standards and, in conjunction with relevant departments, organize a monitoring network and strengthen the management of environmental monitoring. The competent administrative department of environmental protection under the State Council and the governments of provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government shall regularly issue bulletins on environmental conditions.
 


Article 12 The competent administrative departments of environmental protection of the people's governments at or above the county level shall, in conjunction with relevant departments, carry out investigations and assessments of environmental conditions in areas under their jurisdiction and draw up environmental protection plans that shall, subject to overall balancing by the department of planning, be submitted to the people's government at the same level for approval before implementation.
 

Article 13 Units that construct projects that pollute the environment must observe state provisions concerning environmental protection for such construction projects.
 
The environmental impact statement on any such construction project must assess the pollution the project is likely to produce and its impact on the environment, and stipulate preventive and curative measures; the statement shall, after preliminary examination by the authorities responsible for the construction project, be submitted by specified procedure to the competent administrative department of environmental protection for approval. The department of planning shall not ratify the design plan tasks for the construction project until after the environmental impact statement on the construction project has been approved.
 

Article 14 The competent administrative departments of environmental protection of the people's governments at or above the county level or other departments invested by law with environmental supervision and management powers shall have the power to carry out onsite inspections of units under their jurisdiction that discharge pollutants. Any unit so inspected shall truthfully report the relevant circumstances to the department concerned and provide it with the necessary information. The inspecting authorities shall maintain the confidentiality of technological know-how and business secrets of units that are inspected.
 

Article 15 Work for the prevention and control of environmental pollution and damage that involves various administrative areas shall be conducted by the relevant local people's governments either through negotiation or by decision of the people's government at a higher level through mediation.
 

Chapter III Protection and Improvement of the Environment
 

Article 16 The local people's governments at all levels shall be responsible for the quality of the environment in areas under their jurisdiction and shall take measures to improve the quality of the environment.
 

Article 17 The people's governments at all levels shall take measures to protect and strictly prohibit damage to regions representative of all types of natural ecological systems, regions with a natural distribution of rare and endangered wild animals and plants, regions where major water resources are conserved, geological structures of major scientific and cultural value, and famous regions with karst caves and fossil deposits, glaciers, volcanoes and hot springs, traces of human history, and ancient and precious trees.
 

Article 18 No industrial production facility that may result in environmental pollution shall be built within any scenic spot or historic site, nature reserve or other zone that the State Council, the relevant competent department under the State Council, or the people's government of the relevant province, autonomous region or municipality directly under the Central Government has deemed to be in need of special protection; other facilities to be built in these areas must not exceed the prescribed standards for the discharge of pollutants. Any existing facility that discharges more pollutants than the maximum level specified in the prescribed discharge standards shall eliminate or control such pollution within a specified period of time.
 

Article 19 Measures must be taken to protect the ecological environment while natural
 
resources are being developed or utilized.
 

Article 20 The people's governments at all levels shall strengthen the protection of the agricultural environment by preventing and controlling soil pollution, the desertification and alkalization of land, the impoverishment of soil, the deterioration of land into marshes, land subsidence, damage to vegetation, soil erosion, the depletion of water sources, the extinction of species and the occurrence and development of other ecological imbalances by extending the scale of comprehensive prevention and control measures for plant diseases and insect pests and promoting the rational utilization of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and plant growth hormones.
 

Article 21 The State Council and the people's governments at all levels in coastal areas shall strengthen the protection of the marine environment. The discharge of pollutants and the disposal of waste into the seas, the construction of coastal projects, and the exploration and exploitation of offshore oil must be conducted in accordance with legal provisions so as to guard against the pollution of and damage to the marine environment.
 

Article 22 In formulating urban plans, objectives and tasks relating to the protection and improvement of the environment shall be specified.
 

Article 23 In urban and rural construction, vegetation, waters and the natural landscape shall be protected and greater attention paid to the construction of gardens, green spaces and historic sites and scenic spots in cities, taking account of the special features of the local natural environment.
 

Chapter IV Prevention and Control of Environmental Pollution and Other Public Hazards
 

Article 24 Units that cause environmental pollution and other public hazards must incorporate environmental protection work into their plans, establish an environmental protection responsibility system, and adopt effective measures to prevent and control pollution and other harm caused to the environment by waste gas, wastewater, waste residues, dust, malodorous gases, radioactive substances, noise, vibration and electromagnetic radiation generated in the course of production, construction or other activities.
 

Article 25 In the technological transformation of newly-built industrial enterprises and existing industrial enterprises, facilities and processes that involve high levels of resource utilization and low pollutant discharge rates shall be used, along with economically viable technology for the comprehensive utilization of waste materials and the treatment of pollutants.
 

Article 26 Installations for the prevention and control of pollution in construction projects must be designed, built and commissioned together with the principal part of the project. Permission to commence production at or utilize any construction project shall not be granted until its installations for the prevention and control of pollution have been examined and confirmed to meet applicable standards by the competent administrative department of environmental protection that examined and approved the environmental impact statement.
Installations for the prevention and control of pollution shall not be dismantled or left idle without authorization. Where it is absolutely necessary to dismantle any such installation or leave it idle, prior approval shall be obtained from the competent local administrative department of environmental protection.
 


Article 27 Enterprises and institutions that discharge pollutants must report to and register with the relevant authorities in accordance with the provisions of the competent administrative department of environmental protection under the State Council.
 

Article 28 Enterprises and institutions that discharge pollutants in excess of prescribed national or local discharge standards shall pay excess discharge penalties in accordance with state provisions and assume responsibility for eliminating and controlling such pollution. Where applicable, the provisions of the
 Law of the People's Republic of China on the Prevention and Control of Water Pollution shall be complied with. 
Income derived from penalties for the excessive discharge of pollutants must be used for the prevention and control of pollution and shall not be appropriated for any other purpose. Specific measures for the use of such income shall be prescribed by the State Council.
 

Article 29 Any enterprise or institution that causes serious environmental pollution shall be required to eliminate and control such pollution within a specified period of time.
 
For enterprises and institutions directly under the jurisdiction of the Central Government or the people's government of any province, autonomous region or municipality directly under the Central Government, the decision on the deadline for the elimination or control of pollution shall be made by the people's government of the province, autonomous region or municipality directly under the Central Government. For enterprises and institutions under the jurisdiction of a people's government at or below the city or county level, the decision shall be made by the people's government of the city or county. Such enterprises and institutions shall effectuate the elimination or control of pollution within the period of time specified.
 

Article 30 No technology or equipment that fails to meet the requirements specified in state environmental protection provisions shall be imported.
 

Article 31 Any unit that, as a result of an accident or any other exigency, has caused or threatens to cause a pollutive accident, must take prompt remedial measures, make the situation known to units and inhabitants that may suffer from such pollution, report the case to the competent local administrative department of environmental protection and other relevant departments, and allow them to investigate and deal with the situation.
 
Enterprises and institutions that are likely to cause serious pollutive accidents shall adopt effective preventive measures.
 

Article 32 Where the safety of the lives and property of inhabitants is endangered by serious environmental pollution, the competent administrative department of environmental protection of the local people's government at or above the county level must promptly notify the local people's government. The people's government concerned shall take effective measures to remove or alleviate the hazard.
 

Article 33 Toxic chemicals and materials containing radioactive substances must be produced, stored, transported, sold and used in accordance with relevant state provisions so as to prevent environmental pollution.
 

Article 34 No unit shall be permitted to transfer a production facility that causes serious pollution to be used by any unit that is unable to prevent and control pollution.
 

Chapter V Legal Liability
 

Article 35 Any person who violates the provisions of this Law by acting in any of the following ways shall, according to the circumstances of the case, be warned or fined by the competent administrative department of environmental protection or any other department invested by law with environmental supervisory and management powers:
 
1. Refusing an onsite inspection by the competent administrative department of environmental protection or any other department invested by law with environmental supervisory and management powers, or acting fraudulently in the course of an inspection;
 
2. Refusing to report or submitting a false report on any matter for which a declaration is required by the competent administrative department of environmental protection under the State Council;
 
3. Failing to pay, in accordance with state provisions, any penalty for the excessive discharge of pollutants;
 
4. Importing any technology or equipment that fails to meet the requirements specified in state environmental protection provisions; or
 
5. Transferring any production facility that causes serious pollution to be used by a unit that is unable to prevent and control pollution.
 

Article 36 Where a construction project commences production or is utilized in circumstances where facilities for the prevention and control of pollution either have not been completed or fail to meet the requirements specified in state provisions, the competent administrative department of environmental protection responsible for the approval of the environmental impact statement on the construction project shall order that its operations or utilization be suspended, and may in addition impose a fine.
 

Article 37 Any unit that dismantles or leaves idle its installations for the prevention and control of pollution without the prior approval of the competent administrative department of environmental protection and discharges pollutants in excess of the prescribed discharge standards shall be ordered by the competent administrative department of environmental protection to rebuild the installations or put them to use, and shall also be fined.
 

Article 38 Any enterprise or institution that violates the provisions of this Law and causes an environmental pollution accident shall be fined by the competent administrative department of environmental protection or any other department invested by law with environmental supervision and management powers according to the consequential damage incurred; in a serious case, the individuals responsible shall be subject to administrative sanction by the unit to which they belong or by the competent government department.
 

Article 39 Any enterprise or institution that fails to eliminate or control pollution within the period of time specified by the state may, in addition to paying an excess discharge penalty, be fined according to the consequential damage incurred or be ordered to suspend its operations or close down.
 
The fine specified in the preceding paragraph shall be determined by the competent administrative department of environmental protection. Any order that the operations of an enterprise or institution be suspended or that an enterprise or institution be closed down shall be issued by the people's government that set the deadline for the elimination or control of pollution. Any order that the operations of an enterprise or institution directly under the jurisdiction of the Central Government be suspended or that such an enterprise or institution be closed down shall be submitted to and approved by the State Council.
 


Article 40 Any party that is not satisfied with a decision on an administrative sanction may, within 15 days of receiving notification of the decision, apply to the department immediately superior to the authority that imposed the sanction for a review; where it is not satisfied with the review decision, it may, within 15 days of receiving the review decision, bring a suit before a people's court. A party may also bring a suit directly before a people's court within 15 days of receiving notification of a sanction. Where, upon the expiration of this period, the party has not applied for a review or has neither brought a suit before a people's court nor complied with the sanction, the authority that imposed the sanction shall apply to the people's court for compulsory enforcement.
 

Article 41 Any unit that causes an environmental pollution hazard shall be liable to eliminate it and pay compensation to any unit or individual that has suffered a direct loss.
 
Any dispute over liability to pay compensation or the amount of compensation may, at the request of the parties, be settled by the competent administrative department of environmental protection or any other department invested by law with environmental supervision and management powers. Any such party that refuses to accept a settlement decision may bring a suit before a people's court. A party may also bring a suit directly before the people's court.
 
No party shall be liable for any environmental pollution damage suffered solely as a result of an unavoidable natural disaster that cannot be averted even after the prompt adoption of reasonable measures.
 


Article 42 The limitation period for any case brought in relation to compensation for environmental pollution damage shall be three years, calculated from the time at which the relevant party first became or should have become aware of the relevant pollution damage.
 

Article 43 Where any violation of the provisions of this Law causes a serious environmental pollution accident, leading to grave consequences such as a serious loss of public or private property or personal injury or death, the persons directly responsible for the accident shall be investigated for criminal responsibility in accordance with the law.
 

Article 44 Any person who, in contravention of the provisions of this Law, causes damage to natural resources such as land, forests, grasslands, water, minerals, fish, wild animals or wild plants, shall bear legal liability in accordance with the provisions of relevant laws.
 

Article 45 Any person responsible for the supervision and management of environmental protection who abuses his power, neglects his duty or engages in malpractice for personal gain shall be given an administrative sanction by the unit to which he belongs or the competent higher authorities; where his action constitutes a crime, he shall be investigated for criminal liability in accordance with the law.
 

Chapter VI Supplementary Provisions
 

Article 46 Where any international treaty regarding environmental protection concluded or acceded to by the People's Republic of China contains provisions differing from those contained in the laws of the People's Republic of China, the provisions of that international treaty shall apply unless the provisions in question are those on which the People's Republic of China has reserved its position.
 

Article 47 This Law shall come into force on the date of issue hereof. The Environmental Protection Law of the People's Republic of China (for Trial Implementation) shall be repealed simultaneously.

 

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