1. Be responsible for establishing a sound basic system for environmental protection. Draw up and organize the implementation of national policies, programs, and plans for environmental protection, draft out draft laws and regulations, and formulate departmental rules. Organize the preparation of environment functional zoning plans, organize the development of environmental standards, criteria and technical specifications, organize the drafting and oversee the implementation of the plans for prevention and control of pollution in key regions and watersheds and the plans for the environmental protection of drinking water sources, work with relevant State departments as required by the Central Government to draw up plans for the prevention and control of pollution to key sea areas, and engage in the preparation of national main functional zoning plans.
2. Be responsible for the overall coordination, supervision and administration of major environmental problems. Take the lead to coordinate the investigations into and handling of major and serious environmental pollution accidents and ecological damage accidents, guide and coordinate local governments in the emergency response and early warnings to major and serious environmental emergencies, coordinate the settlement of cross-region environmental pollution disputes, make overall plans and coordinate the national effort in prevention and control of pollution in key watersheds, regions, and sea areas, and guide, coordinate, and oversee the marine environmental protection effort.
3. Undertake the responsibilities for attaining national pollution reduction targets. Organize the development of the total pollutant load control system and the pollution permitting system for main pollutants and oversee their implementation, specify the names of the pollutants subject to the total pollutant load control system and the control indicators, supervise, monitor, and check the local progress in accomplishing pollutant reduction tasks, and introduce the target responsibility system for environmental protection, evaluate the reduced total pollutant load, and announce the evaluation results.
4. Be responsible for contributing opinions on the size and direction of fixed-asset investment, and the allocation of fiscal funds of the central government in the environment sector, and within the purview prescribed by the State Council, review and approve the fixed-asset investment projects in national plans and annual plans, work with relevant State departments to do well in organizing the implementation and supervision, engage in guiding and facilitating the development of circular economy and environmental industries, and take part in the response to climate change.
5. Undertake the responsibilities to take precautionary measures against pollution at the source and control environmental pollution and environmental damages. On behalf of the State Council, conduct environmental impact assessment of major economic policies and technical policies, development plans, and major economic development programs, contribute opinions on the environmental impact of draft environment protection legislations, and in accordance with national regulations, review and approve the environmental impact statements of major development regions and development projects.
6. Be responsible for the supervision and administration of the prevention and control of environmental pollution. Nail down administrative institutions for control of pollution to water, air, soil and by noise, light, odor, solid wastes, chemicals, and vehicles, work with relevant State departments to oversee and administrate the environmental protection of drinking water sources, and organize and guide the integrated environment management in urban and rural areas.
7. Guide, coordinate, and oversee ecological conservation effort. Draw up ecological conservation plans, organize the evaluation of eco-environment quality conditions, and oversee the natural resources development and utilization activities that have impact on the ecological environment, the major eco-environment development efforts and ecological damage restoration effort. Guide, coordinate, and oversee the environmental protection effort in all sorts of nature reserves, scenic and historic interest areas, and forest parks, and coordinate and oversee the wildlife protection, wetland environmental protection, and desertification control effort. Coordinate and guide the eco-environmental protection in rural areas, oversee the environmental safety of biological technologies, take the lead in bio-species (including genetic resources) related effort, and organize and coordinate biodiversity conservation.
8. Be responsible for the supervision and administration of nuclear safety and radiation safety. Draw up relevant policies, programs and plans, and standards, engage in the emergency response to nuclear accidents, and be responsible for the emergency response to radiation environment accidents. Oversee and administrate the nuclear facility safety and radiation source safety, as well as the pollution control of nuclear facilities, nuclear technology applications, electromagnetic radiation, and development and utilization of radioactive, associate mineral resources. Oversee and administrate the regulation of nuclear materials, and the design, manufacturing, installation, and non-destructive testing of civil nuclear safety devices.
9. Be responsible for environmental monitoring and information release. Develop environmental monitoring institutions and regulations, and organize the environmental quality monitoring and supervision-oriented monitoring of pollution sources. Organize the surveys, evaluation, forecast, and early warning of environmental quality conditions, organize the development and management of national environmental monitoring network and national environmental information network, establish and implement environmental quality bulletin system, and release national general environment report and essential environmental information.
10. Carry out environmental protection science and technology activities. Organize major scientific research programs on environmental protection and demonstration projects on technologies and engineering, and facilitate the development of environmental technology management systems.
11. Conduct international cooperation and communications on environmental protection. Study and put forward recommendations on issues relevant to international environmental cooperation, organize and coordinate the implementation of relevant international conventions on environmental protection, and engage in addressing foreign affairs related to environmental protection.
12. Organize, guide, and coordinate the environmental communications and education, develop and organize the implementation of the outline on environmental communications and education, launch communications and education on developing ecological civilization and building an environment-friendly society, and advance the public and social organizations to participate in environmental protection.
13. Undertake other tasks assigned by the State Council.