Home > China > Measures for the Disclosure of Environmental Information (for Trial Implementation)

Measures for the Disclosure of Environmental Information (for Trial Implementation)

Promulgation date:04-11-2007
Department:State Administration of Environmental Protection
Effective date:05-01-2008
Subject:Environmental Protection 

Order of the State Environmental Protection Administration
(Order No. 35)

The Measures for the Disclosure of Environmental Information (for Trial Implementation), which were adopted at the first utive meeting of 2007 of the State Environmental Protection Administration on February 8, 2007, are hereby promulgated and shall come into force as of May 1, 2008.

Director of the State Environmental Protection Administration Zhou Shengxian
April 11, 2007

Measures for the Disclosure of Environmental Information (for Trial Implementation)

Chapter I General Provisions
Article 1 These Measures are formulated according to the Regulation of the People’s Republic of China on the Disclosure of Government Information, the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Promoting Clean Production, the Decision of the State Council on Fulfilling the Scientific Development View and Strengthening Environmental Protection and other relevant legal provisions for the purpose of promoting and regulating the disclosure of environmental information by environmental protection administrative departments (hereinafter referred to as environmental administrations) and enterprises, maintaining the rights and interests of citizens, legal persons and other organizations to access environmental information, and promoting the participation into environmental protection by the general public.

Article 2 The expression “environmental information” as mentioned in these Measures includes government environmental information and enterprise environmental information.

The expression “government environmental information” refers to the information which is produced or obtained by environmental administrations in their performance of environmental protection responsibilities, and is recorded and kept in a certain form.

The expression “enterprise environmental information” refers to the information that is recorded and kept in a certain form, and is related to the environmental effects arising in the business activities of enterprises and the environmental acts of enterprises.

Article 3 The State Environmental Protection Administration shall be responsible for promoting, guiding, coordinating and supervising the work on the disclosure of environmental information of the whole country.

The environmental administrations of local people’s governments at or above the county level shall be responsible for organizing, coordinating and supervising the work on the disclosure of environmental information of their respective administrative areas.

Article 4 An environmental administration shall follow the principles of equity, fairness, being convenient for people and objectivity, and disclose the government environmental information timely and accurately.

An enterprise shall, in light of the principle of combining voluntary disclosure with mandatory disclosure, disclose its environmental information timely and accurately.

Article 5 Citizens, legal persons and other organizations may apply to environmental administrations for accessing government environmental information.

Article 6 An environmental administration shall establish and improve an environment information the disclosure system.

The State Environmental Protection Administration shall designate its general office as the organizational department for disclosure of its government environmental information, and other functional bodies shall do a good job in the disclosure of government environmental information within their respective functions.

The environmental administration of the local people’s government at or above the county level shall determine the organizational department for the disclosure of its government environmental information in light of the actuality, and such organizational department shall take charge of the organization of the disclosure of government environmental information for its environmental administration.

The organizational department for disclosure of government environmental information in an environmental administration shall assume the following specific responsibilities:
(1) Organizing the formulation of rules, systems and working rules for the disclosure of government environmental information for environmental administration;
(2) Organizing and coordinating the disclosure of government environmental information by other functionary departments in the environmental administration;
(3) Organizing the maintenance and upgrading of the government environmental information disclosed by the environmental administration;
(4) Supervising and checking the disclosure of government environmental information by other functionary departments in the environmental administration;
(5) Organizing the compilation of the guidelines for disclosure of government environmental information, the catalogue on the disclosure of government environmental information and the annual report on the disclosure of government environmental information for the environmental administration;
(6) Supervising and guiding the disclosure of government environmental information by the environmental administrations at lower levels;
(7) Supervising the disclosure of government environmental information by the enterprises within its jurisdiction;
(8) Taking charge of the confidentiality examination before the disclosure of government environmental information; and
(9) Other responsibilities for the disclosure of government environmental information of the environmental administration.

Article 7 No citizen, legal person or other organization may, when utilizing the environmental information as disclosed, damage state interests, public interests or legitimate rights or interests of others.

Article 8 An environmental administration shall guarantee its disclosure of government environmental information in the aspects of personnel and funds, etc.

Article 9 Where it is necessary to obtain the approval for the disclosure of government environmental information according to the relevant provisions of the state, the environmental administration shall not disclose it until it is approved.

Article 10 The disclosure of government environmental information by environmental administrations shall not jeopardize national security, pubic security, economic security or social stability.

Chapter II Disclosure of Government Environmental Information
Section 1 Scope of Disclosure

Article 11 An environmental administration shall voluntarily disclose the following government environmental information to the general public within the scope of its duties:
(1) Laws, regulations, rules, standards and other regulatory documents on environmental protection;
(2) Environmental protection plans;
(3) Environmental quality;
(4) Environmental statistics and environmental survey information;
(5) Prepared emergency plans for, and the forecasting, occurrence and disposal of, unexpected environmental accidents;
(6) Distribution and fulfillment of gross discharging indicators of main pollutants, issuance of pollutant discharging licenses, and quantitative inspection results about comprehensive rectification of urban environment;
(7) Types, amount and disposal of solid wastes in medium and large cities;
(8) The acceptance of environmental impact evaluation documents for construction projects, results about examination and approval of the environmental impact evaluation documents as accepted, completion-based check and acceptance results regarding environmental protection of construction projects, as well as the items, basis, conditions, procedures and results of other environmental protection administrative licensing;
(9) Items, basis, standards and procedures for collection of pollutant discharge fees, amount of pollutant discharge fees that should be paid by pollutant dischargers, amount that has been actually collected, and conditions on reduction, exemption and postponement of pollutant discharge fees;
(10) Items, basis, standards and procedures of environmental protection administrative charges;
(11) Cases concerning complaint letters and visits or tip-offs about environmental issues or enterprise environmental pollution that are filed by the general public and are verified upon investigation, and the results of handling such cases;
(12) Conditions about environmental administrative punishment, administrative reconsideration, administrative lawsuits and implementation of administrative compulsory measures;
(13) Name list of those enterprises which discharge pollutants in excess of national or regional discharging standards or seriously pollute the environment since their respective gross pollutant discharging volume has exceeded the relevant guideposts as verified by the local people’s government;
(14) Name list of those enterprises to which serious or extraordinarily serious environmental pollution accidents or events have occurred, and name list of those enterprises which refuse to implement effective decisions on environmental administrative punishment;
(15) Examination and approval results about environmental protection set-ups;
(16) Structural establishment, duties and contact information of the environmental administration;
(17) Other environmental information that should be disclosed according to any law, administrative regulation or ministerial rule.

The environmental administration shall compile its catalogue on the disclosure of government environmental information within the scope as prescribed in the preceding paragraph.

Article 12 An environmental administration shall establish and improve a confidentiality and examination mechanism for the disclosure of governmental environmental information, and clarify the procedures and duties for such examination.

Before the disclosure of governmental environmental information, an environmental administration shall carry out the examination according to the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Guarding State Secrets, other laws, regulations and the relevant provisions of the state.

No environmental administration may disclose the governmental environmental information which involves any state secret, business secret or personal privacy, however, the governmental environmental information involving business secret or personal privacy may be disclosed if the right holder consents to such disclosure or the environmental administration considers that the public interests will be seriously affected in the case of non-disclosure.

Where an environmental administration is not certain whether the governmental environmental information can be disclosed or not, it shall, according to the pertinent laws, regulations and provisions, give a report to the relevant competent department or the confidentiality department at the same level for decision.

Section 2 Modes and Procedures for Disclosure
Article 13 An environmental administration shall disclose the governmental environmental information within the scope of voluntary disclosure via government websites, gazettes, press conferences, newspapers, radio, television or any other means easily accessible by the general public.

Article 14 With respect to the governmental environmental information within the scope of voluntary disclosure, an environmental administration shall disclose it within 20 working days after such environmental information is formed or changed, unless the time limit for disclosure of governmental environmental information is otherwise prescribed by any law or regulation.

Article 15 An environmental administration shall compile and publicize the guidelines for the disclosure of governmental environmental information and the catalogue on the disclosure of governmental environmental information, and upgrade them in a timely manner.

The guidelines for the disclosure of governmental environmental information shall include the types, compilation system and acquisition method of such information; as well as the name, address, office hours, contact phone, fax and e-mail, etc. of the functionary department for disclosure of governmental environmental information.

The catalogue on the disclosure of governmental environmental information shall include the index, name of the information, general remarks on the contents of information, date of formation, and time of disclosure, etc.

Article 16 Where any citizen, legal person or other organization applies to an environmental administration for the furnishing of governmental environmental information according to Article 5 of these Measures, he or it shall file such an application by letter, fax, e-mail or any other written form; and where it is difficult to do so, the applicant may file an application orally, and the functionary department for disclosure of governmental environmental information in the environmental administration may fill in an application form for disclosure of governmental environmental information on his/its behalf.

An application for disclosure of governmental environmental information shall include the following contents:
(1) Name and contact information of the applicant;
(2) Specific descriptions about the contents of governmental environmental information for which an application for disclosure is filed; and
(3) Request for the form of governmental environmental information for which an application for disclosure is filed.

Article 17 With respect to an application for disclosure of government environmental information, the environmental administration shall give a reply in light of the following circumstances:
(1) If the information for which an application for disclosure is filed falls within the scope of disclosure, the environmental administration shall notify the applicant of the mode and means for accessing such government environmental information;
(2) If the information for which an application for disclosure is filed does not fall within the scope of disclosure, the environmental administration shall notify the applicant that such government environmental information should not be disclosed and simultaneously explain the reasons;
(3) If the government environmental information should not be disclosed by the environmental administration itself or does not exist, the environmental administration shall notify the situation to the applicant; and where the organ for disclosure of such environmental administration could be determined, the environmental administration shall notify the applicant of the name and contact information of such administrative organ; and
(4) If the application is unclear in contents, the environmental administration shall notify the applicant to correct or supplement the application.

Article 18 An environmental administration shall give a reply within 15 working days after receipt of an application; and if it is unable to do so, upon approval of the person in-charge of the functionary department for disclosure of government environmental information, the time limit for reply may be extended. The extension shall be notified to the applicant in written form, and the time limit for reply may be extended for 15 working days to the utmost.

Chapter III Disclosure of Enterprise Environmental Information
Article 19 The state encourages enterprises to voluntarily disclose the following enterprise environmental information:
(1) Environmental protection guidelines, annual environmental protection targets and achievements of the enterprise;
(2) Annual gross resources assumption volume of the enterprise;
(3) Environmental protection investments and environmental technological development of the enterprise;
(4) Types, quantity, density and whereabouts of pollutants discharged by the enterprise;
(5) Construction and operation of environmental protection facilities of the enterprise;
(6) Treatment of wastes produced during the production process, and recycling and comprehensive utilization of waste products of the enterprise;
(7) Agreement on voluntary environmental improvement signed with the environmental administration;
(8) Fulfillment of social responsibilities by the enterprise; and
(9) Other environmental information to be voluntarily disclosed by the enterprise.

Article 20 Those enterprises that have been incorporated into the name list as mentioned in Item (13) of Paragraph 1 of Article 11 of these Measures shall disclose the following information to the general public:
(1) Name, address and legal representative of the enterprise;
(2) Name of the main pollutants, discharging modes, density and gross volume of such pollutants to be discharged, and the pollutants discharged in excess of standards and gross volume;
(3) Conditions about construction and operation of environmental protection facilities of the enterprise; and
(4) Prepared emergency plans for environmental pollution accidents.

No enterprise may refuse to disclose the environmental information as mentioned above under the pretext of business secrets.

Article 21 An enterprise that discloses its environmental information to the general public according to Article 20 of these Measures shall, within 30 days after the environmental administration announces the name list, disclose its environmental information on the local main mass media, and report the environmental information that has been disclosed to the general public to the local environmental administration for archival purpose.

The environmental administration shall have the power to check the environmental information disclosed by enterprises.

Article 22 An enterprise that voluntarily discloses its environmental information according to Article 19 of these Measures may publicize its environmental information to the general public through mass media or the internet, etc., or by publishing its annual environmental reports.

Article 23 For an enterprise which voluntarily discloses its environmental information and acts as an example for complying with environmental laws and regulations, the environmental administration may grant the following awards to it:
(1) Praising it publicly on the local main mass media;
(2) Giving priority to its projects of special environmental protection funds according to the relevant provisions of the state;
(3) Giving priority to the recommendation of its model clean production projects or other modal projects with state subsidies according to the relevant provisions of the state; and
(4) Other awards prescribed by the state.

Chapter IV Supervision and Duties
Article 24 An environmental administration shall establish and improve an examination system, social appraisal system and accountability system for the disclosure of government environmental information, and carry out regular examination and appraisal about the disclosure of government environmental information.

Article 25 An environmental administration shall, prior to March 31 every year, announce its annual report on the disclosure of government environmental information.

An annual report on the disclosure of government environmental information shall include the following contents:
(1) The voluntary disclosure of government environmental information by the environmental administration;
(2) The disclosure of government environmental information by the environmental administration upon application and the conditions about non-disclosure of government environmental information;
(3) Administrative reconsiderations and administrative lawsuits lodged due to the disclosure of government environmental information;
(4) Main problems existing in the disclosure of government environmental information and the conditions about improvement of such problems;
(5) Other matters that need to be addressed.

Article 26 Where any citizen, legal person or other organization considers that an environmental administration fails to perform the obligation of disclosing government environmental information, he or it may tip it off to the environmental administration at the higher level. The environmental administration which has received such a tip-off shall urge the environmental administration at the lower level to perform the obligation of disclosing government environmental information according to law.

Where any citizen, legal person or other organization considers that the specific administrative acts of an environmental administration during the course of disclosing government environmental information have infringed on his or its legitimate rights or interests, he or it may apply for administrative reconsideration or file an administrative lawsuit.

Article 27 Where an environmental administration violates these Measures and is under any of the following circumstances, the environmental administration at the next higher level shall order it to make a correction. Where the circumstances are serious, the principal and other persons held to be directly responsible shall be given administrative sanctions:
(1) Failing to perform the obligation of disclosing government environmental information according to law;
(2) Failing to timely upgrade the contents of government environmental information, the guidelines for the disclosure of government environmental information, or the catalogue on the disclosure of government environmental information;
(3) Unlawfully collecting fees during the course of disclosing government environmental information;
(4) Providing paid government environmental information via any other organization or individual;
(5) Disclosing the government environmental information that should not be disclosed; or
(6) Committing any other act in violation of these Measures.

Article 28 Where an enterprise, which violates Article 20 of these Measures and discharges pollutants in excess of national or regional discharging standards or seriously pollutes the environment since its gross pollutant discharging volume exceeds the relevant guideposts as verified by the local people’s government, fails to disclose the discharge of pollutants or does not make such disclosure as required, the environmental administration of the local people’s government at or above the county level shall impose a fine of less than 100,000 yuan on the enterprise and disclose the relevant conditions on its behalf according to the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Promoting Clean Production.

Chapter V Supplementary Provisions
Article 29 These Measures shall come into force as of May 1, 2008.

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