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 Infopetro -> Laws & Regulation


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

  02/15/2008


CHAPTER I GENERAL PROVISIONS

Article 1.This Law is formulated in order to protect the marine environment and resources, prevent pollution damage,maintain ecological balance, safeguard human health and promote the development of marine programmes.

Article  2.  This  Law  shall apply to the internal seas and territorial seas  of  the  People''s Republic of China and all other sea areas under the jurisdiction of the People''s Republic of China.All vessels, platforms, airborne vehicles and submersibles, as well as all enterprises,  institutions  and  individuals  engaged  in navigation,  exploration,  exploitation, production, scientific research  or other activities in the sea areas under the jurisdiction of the People''s Republic of China shall comply with this Law. This Law shall also apply to the discharge of harmful substances and the dumping of wastes done beyond the sea areas under the
jurisdiction of the People''s Republic of China that cause pollution
damage to sea areas within the jurisdiction of the People''s Republic of
China.

Article 3.  All units and individuals entering the sea areas under the jurisdiction of the People''s Republic of China shall have the responsibility to protect the marine environment and shall have the obligation to watch for and report on actions causing pollution damage to the marine environment.

Article 4. The relevant departments under the State Council and the people''s governments of the coastal provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities directly under the Central Government may, as the need to protect the marine environment requires, establish special marine reserves, marine  sanctuaries and seashore scenic and tourist areas  and take corresponding measures to protect them. The designation of special marine reserves  and  marine sanctuaries shall be subject to the State Council for
approval.

Article 5. The environmental protection department under the
State Council  shall  be  in  charge of the marine environmental
protection of the whole country. The state  administrative department of marine affairs shall be responsible for  organizing  investigations and monitoring of and exercising surveilance over  the  marine environment and conducting scientific research therein; it shall  also  be  in  charge of environmental  protection  against marine pollution damage caused by offshore oil exploration and exploitation and by the dumping of wastes into the sea.
 
The Harbour Superintendency Administration of the People''s Republic of China shall be responsible for supervising, investigating and dealing with the discharge of pollutants from vessels and for exercising surveillance over  the  waters of the port areas; it shall  also  be  in  charge of environmental protection against pollution damage caused by vessels.The  state fisheries administration and fishing harbour superintendency agencies shall be responsible for supervising the discharge of pollutants by vessels in the fishing harbours and for exercising surveillance over the waters thereof. The  environmental  protection  department  of the armed forces shall be responsible  for supervising the discharge of pollutants by
military vessels and exercising surveillance over the waters of the
naval ports.The environmental protection departments of the coastal
provinces,  autonomous  regions,  and  municipalities  directly
under  the  Central Government shall be responsible for organizing,
coordinating, supervising and  inspecting the marine environmental
protection work in their respective administrative areas and shall
be  in charge of environmental protection against pollution damage
caused  by  coastal  construction  projects  and land-sourced
pollutants.
 
CHAPTER  II  PREVENTION  OF  POLLUTION  DAMAGE  TO THE MARINE
ENVIRONMENT BY COASTAL CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS

Article 6. Units in charge of coastal construction projects
must,  before drawing up and submitting their project plan
descriptions, conduct scientific  surveys of the marine environment,
select suitable sites in the light  of  natural  and  social
conditions and formulate and submit Environmental  Impact
Statements in accordance with relevant state
regulations.

Article  7. Measures must be taken to protect the aquatic
resources when building  harbours  and oil terminals, as well as
water  conservancy facilities and tidal power stations in estuaries.
Dams to be built across fish and crab migration routes shall be
provided with appropriate fish passage facilities.

Article 8. Facilities to receive and treat residual and waste
oils, oil-polluted  water  and  other  wastes,  along  with  the
necessary  anti-pollution  equipment  and  monitoring  and  alarm
devices, shall be installed at ports and oil terminals.

Article  9. The development and utilization of tideland shall be
subject to  comprehensive  planning and strict administration. The
reclamation of land from the sea, or other projects to enclose
sea  areas, and the excavation of sand and gravel shall be strictly
controlled. For projects that are definitely necessary,
Environmental  Impact Statements based on investigative research and
comparison of economic results must be prepared and submitted for
approval to the environmental protection departments of the relevant
provinces, autonomous  regions,  or  municipalities directly under
the  Central Government. In the case of large-scale projects to
enclose sea areas, the statements must also be submitted to
the environmental  protection department under the State Council for
examination and approval.It is forbidden to destroy seashore shelter belts, scenic woods,scenic rocks, mangroves and coral reefs.
 
CHAPTER  III  PREVENTION  OF  POLLUTION  DAMAGE TO THE MARINE
ENVIRONMENT  BY  COASTAL  CONSTRUCTION  PROJECTS  BY OFFSHORE OIL
EXPLORATION AND EXPLOITATION

Article 10. Enterprises engaged in offshore oil exploitation or
their competent  authorities shall, before drawing up and submitting
their  project plan  descriptions,  prepare  Environmental  Impact
Statements,  which  shall  include  effective  measures  for  the
prevention  of pollution damage to the marine  environment;  the
statements  shall  be  submitted  to the environmental protection
department under the State Council for examination and approval.

Article  11. When offshore oil exploration and other offshore
activities involve  explosive operations, effective measures shall be
taken to protect fishery resources.

Article  12.  Oils  used  in  the course of exploration and
exploitation shall  be put under strict control so as to prevent
accidents from oil leakage.  Residual  and  waste oils shall be
recovered and must not be discharged into the sea.

Article 13. Oil-polluted water and oil mixtures from offshore oil
rigs, drilling  platforms  and  oil extraction platforms may not
be  directly discharged  into the sea. When they are discharged after
recovery treatment, the oil content of the discharges may not exceed
the standards set by the state.

Article  14.  Offshore  oil  rigs, drilling platforms and oil
extraction platforms  may  not dispose oil-polluted industrial wastes
into the sea. The disposal  of other industrial wastes may not
cause pollution damage to fishing areas and shipping channels.

Article  15. When testing offshore wells, oils and oil mixtures
may not be  discharged  into the sea, and the gas and oil shall be
thoroughly flared so as to prevent pollution of the sea.

Article 16. Offshore oil pipelines and oil-storage installations
shall always be kept in good condition, as required for the prevention
of seepage, leakage and corrosion, so as to prevent oil leakage
accidents.

Article  17.  In  exploring  and  exploiting offshore oil
resources, appropriate anti-pollution facilities and equipment shall be
made available, and  effective technical measures shall be taken
to prevent blowouts or accidents from oil leakage.Once a blowout or oil leakage accident occurs, the unit concerned shall immediately report it to  the state administrative department of marine affairs, take effective measures to control and eliminate oil pollution and accept the investigation and handling of the case by the department.

CHAPTER  IV  PREVENTION  OF  POLLUTION  DAMAGE  TO THE MARINE
ENVIRONMENT BY LAND-SOURCED POLLUTANTS

Article  18. The discharge of harmful substances into the sea by
coastal units  must  be conducted in strict compliance with the
standards for discharge  and the relevant regulations promulgated
by the state or the people''s governments of provinces, autonomous
regions, and municipalities directly under the Central Government. No  additional outlet for discharging sewage shall be allowed within
marine sanctuaries,  aquacultural  grounds  and seashore scenic and
tourist areas. Those  outlets  already  in  existence  before the
promulgation of this Law, where  the discharge of pollutants is
not  in conformity with the state standards, shall be improved within a
prescribed period of time.

Article  19.  It  is  prohibited to discharge waste water
containing high-level radioactive matter into the sea.Any discharge  of  waste water containing low-level radioactive matter into the sea, when really necessary, shall be carried out in strict compliance with the state provisions and standards concerning radioactive protection.

Article  20.  No medical sewage or industrial waste water
carrying infectious  pathogens  may  be  discharged  into the sea
before it has been properly treated and strictly sterilized, with
the pathogens therein exterminated.

Article 21. The discharge of industrial waste water and domestic
sewage  containing  organic  and  nutrient  matter  into  bays,
semi-closed seas and other  sea  areas with low capacities of
self-purification  shall be controlled so as to prevent eutrophication
of the sea water.

Article  22.  When discharging heated waste water into the sea,
measures shall  be taken to ensure that the water temperature in the
adjacent fishing areas is kept within state water quality standards in
order to avoid damage to the aquatic resources by heat pollution.

Article 23. The use of chemical pesticides in coastal farmlands
shall conform  to  the  state  provisions and standards for the
safe use of pesticides.

Article  24.  No unit may discard or pile up tailings, slags,
cinders, garbage  and  other  wastes along seashores and beaches
without the approval of  the environmental protection departments
of  the coastal provinces, autonomous  regions,  or  municipalities
directly  under  the  Central Government.  Those  who  have been
approved by law to set up waste yards and treatment facilities along
seashores  and  beaches shall build dikes to prevent the wastes from
entering the sea.

Article  25. The environmental protection departments of the
coastal  provinces,   autonomous  regions,  and  municipalities
directly  under  the Central  Government  and  the  river system
administrative  departments shall strengthen  their  control  over
rivers  that empty into the sea to prevent them from being polluted
and ensure the quality of the water in the estuaries.

CHAPTER  V  PREVENTION  OF  POLLUTION  DAMAGE  TO  THE MARINE
ENVIRONMENT BY
VESSELS

Article  26.  No vessel may, in violation of the provisions of
this Law, discharge  oils,  oil mixtures, wastes and other harmful
substances into the sea areas under the jurisdiction of the People''s
Republic of China.

Article  27. Any oil tanker with a gross tonnage of 150 tons or
more or any  other  vessel with a gross tonnage of 400 tons or more
shall  be  fitted  with  appropriate anti-pollution equipment and
facilities.Any oil tanker with a gross tonnage of less than 150 tons and any
other vessel  with a gross tonnage of less than 400 tons shall be
fitted with special containers for recovery of residual and waste oils.

Article  28. Any oil tanker with a gross tonnage of 150 tons or
more or any  other vessel with a gross tonnage of 400 tons or more
shall carry on board an Oil Record Book.Any vessels carrying more than 2,000 tons of oil in bulk as cargo shall  hold  a  valid  "insurance or other financial security certificate for civil liability  against oil pollution damage," or a "credit certificate for civil liability against oil pollution damage, " or furnish other financial credit guarantees.

Article  29. The discharge of oil-polluted water from an oil
tanker with a  gross  tonnage of 150 tons or more or any other
vessel with a gross tonnage of 400 tons or more must be conducted in
compliance with the state standards  and  provisions for vessel
sewage  discharge and shall be truthfully recorded in the Oil Record
Book.

Article  30.  The  discharge  of  hold-washings  and other
residues by vessels  carrying noxious or corrosive goods must be
conducted in compliance with  the  state  provisions  for vessel
sewage discharge and shall be truthfully recorded in the Logbook.

Article  31.  The  discharge  of  radioactive  substances
from nuclear-powered  vessels or vessels carrying such substances
must  be conducted in compliance with the provisions of Article 19 of
this Law.

Article 32. Vessels, when bunkering or loading and unloading oil,
must observe  operating  instructions and take effective measures to
prevent oil
spills.

Article  33.  Shipbuilders  and ship repairing, scrapping and
salvaging units  shall  be provided with anti-pollution equipment
and facilities. During operations, preventive measures shall be taken
against pollution of the sea by oils, oil mixtures and other wastes.

Article  34.  In  case pollution has resulted from an abnormal
discharge of  oils,  oil  mixtures or other harmful substances, or
from the spilling overboard  of noxious or corrosive goods, the
vessel  concerned  shall immediately  take measures to control and
eliminate such pollution and shall report the matter to the nearest
harbour superintendency administration for investigation and settlement.

Article  35.  If  a vessel is involved in a marine accident
which has caused,  or  is  likely  to  cause, a serious pollution
damage  to the marine environment,  the  Harbour  Superintendency
Administration  of the People''s Republic of China shall have the
power to compel action to avoid or minimize such a pollution damage.

Article  36.  All vessels have the obligation to guard against
pollution of the sea. Upon discovering violations of regulations or
occurrences of pollution,  they shall immediately report them to
the  nearest  harbour  superintendency  administration;  fishing
boats  may also report such occurrences to the nearest fisheries
administration and fishing harbour superintendency agency.

Article  37.  In  the  event of pollution caused by a vessel
navigating,  berthing  or  operating  in a sea area under the
jurisdiction of the People''s Republic  of China, officers from the
Harbour Superintendency Administration of the People''s Republic of
China shall board the vessel in question to examine and handle the
case. Officers from relevant government departments authorized by the
Harbour Superintendency Administration may also board the vessel to
conduct  examinations  and  report  the  results  thereof to the
Administration for settlement.

CHAPTER  VI  PREVENTION  OF  POLLUTION  DAMAGE  TO THE MARINE
ENVIRONMENT BY DUMPING OF WASTES

Article 38. No unit may dump any kind of waste into the sea areas
under the jurisdiction of the People''s Republic of China without the
permission of the state administrative department of marine affairs.
Units that need to dump wastes must file an application with the
state administrative department of marine affairs and the dumping may
be carried out only after a permit has been granted by the department.

Article 39. Units that have obtained permits for dumping wastes
shall dump  wastes  at  the  designated  place, within the time
limit  and in accordance with the conditions specified in the permit.
Wastes to be dumped shall be verified by the approving department
after their loading. Wastes to be dumped by means of vessels shall
be supervised  and  verified  by  the  harbour  superintendency
administration at the port of departure.

Article 40. Units that have obtained permits for dumping wastes
shall make  a  detailed  record of such operations and present a
written report to the approving department thereafter. Vessels that
have finished the said dumping must present a written report to
the harbour superintendency administration at the port of departure.

CHAPTER VII LEGAL LIABILITIES

Article  41.  In  the case of a violation of this Law that has
caused or is  likely  to  cause pollution damage to the marine
environment,  the competent authorities prescribed in Article 5 of
this Law may order the violator to remedy the pollution damage
within  a definite time, pay a pollutant discharge fee, pay the
cost for eliminating the pollution and compensate for the losses
sustained by the state; they may also give the violator a warning or
impose  a  fine. An involved party contesting the decision may file
a  suit in a people''s court within 15 days after it has received the
written  decision.  If a suit has not been filed and the decision
has  not  been carried out upon the expiration of that period, the
competent  authorities  shall  request  the  people''s  court  to
enforce the decision in accordance with the law.

Article  42.  Units  or individuals who have suffered damage
caused by marine  environmental pollution shall be entitled to claim
compensation  from the  party which caused the pollution damage.
Disputes  over  the compensation liability  and  the  amount  of
compensation may be settled by the competent authorities. If a party
contests the decision, the matter may be settled either by resorting
to the procedures specified in the Civil Procedure Law of  the
People''s  Republic  of  China or by filing a suit directly with the
people''s court.

Article 43. Compensation liability may be exempted if pollution
damage to  the  marine environment cannot be avoided, despite prompt
and reasonable measures taken, when the pollution damage is caused by
any of the following circumstances:
(1) acts of war;
(2) irresistible natural calamities; or
(3)  negligence  or  other wrongful acts in the exercise of the
functions of departments  responsible  for  the  maintenance  of
beacons  or  other navigational  aids.  In the case of pollution
damage  to  the  marine environment  resulting entirely from the
intentional or wrongful act of a third party, that party shall be
liable for compensation.

Article  44.  In  cases where violations of this Law result in
pollution damage  to  the  marine  environment  and  cause heavy
losses to public or private  property  or  deaths or injuries to
persons, those who are directly responsible may be prosecuted for
criminal responsibility by judicial organs in accordance with the law.

CHAPTER VIII SUPPLEMENTARY PROVISIONS

Article 45. For the purpose of this Law, the definitions
of the following terms are:

(1)  "  Pollution  damage  to the marine environment " means any
direct or indirect  introduction  of  substances or energy into the
marine environment which  results in deleterious effects such as
harm  to  marine  living resources,  hazards  to  human health,
hindrance  to  fishing  and  other legitimate  activities at sea,
impairment of the useful quality of sea water and degradation of
environmental quality.
(2)  "  Fishing  areas  " means spawning grounds, feeding grounds,
wintering grounds  and migration channels of fish and shrimp as well
as aquacultural grounds of fish, shrimp, shellfish and aquatic plants.
(3) " Oils " means any kind of oil and its refined products.
(4) " Oil mixtures " means any mixtures containing oil.
(5)  "  To  discharge  " means to drain pollutants into the sea,
including pumping, spilling, releasing, gushing and pouring.
(6)  " To dump " means to dispose of wastes or other harmful
substances  into  the  sea  from  vessels,  airborne  vehicles,
platforms  or other means of transport,  including  the abandonment
of  vessels,  airborne  vehicles, platforms and other floating
apparatus.

Article  46.  Where  existing provisions concerning marine
environmental protection contradict this Law, this Law shall prevail.

Article 47. The environmental protection department under the
State Council  may,  in  accordance  with  this  Law, formulate
rules  for  its implementation, which shall be put into effect after
being submitted to and approved by the State Council.The  relevant  departments  under  the State Council and the standing committees  of  the  people''s  congresses  and  people''s governments of the coastal  provinces,  autonomous  regions, and municipalities  directly  under  the  Central  Government may, in accordance  with this Law, work out concrete measures  for  its implementation,  taking  into  consideration the actual conditions prevailing at the departments or localities concerned.

Article 48. This Law shall come into force as of March 1, 1983.



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