All enterprises must hold certificates to discharge pollution from March 1, according to the new requirements released by the Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE), as reported by China National Radio on February 5. A total of 2.36m companies, industrial facilities, and institutions in China are legally obliged to obtain permits to emit pollutants like sulphur dioxide or wastewater. The Measures for Pollutant Discharge Permitting Administration, newly updated recently, stipulates that pollutants in water, air, and soil, as well as solid waste, shall be included in permit management in accordance with the law. Moreover, local governments should gradually incorporate noise and other pollutant elements into management by legislating. Regulations also strengthen the primary responsibility and obligation of the companies that have a great impact on the environment.
Liu Zhiquan, an MEE senior official, stated that the ministry would take stricter actions against firms that discharge without authorization and falsify emissions data. For illegal behaviors such as discharging without permits, there will be continuous penalties issued on a daily basis, and the companies must also cut production or shut down in compliance. Besides, Liu added that those found to evade supervision will also be punished. In addition, firms that repeatedly exceed their emission allocations will be subject to more scrutiny and more frequent inspections, as well as those that already have a poor social credit rating, the ministry said.