MEP, NDRC, MIIT, and MoH jointly announced the 12th Five-Year Plan for Prevention and Control of Pollution by Hazardous Wastes (hereinafter referred to as the Plan) recently. According to a senior official with MEP, the prevention and control of pollution by hazardous wastes is an integral part of China¡¯s environmental protection effort. During the ongoing Five-Year Plan period, MEP will work with relevant State departments to improve the legislations and standards, pay close attention to supervision on environmental law enforcement, prosecute environmental liabilities, tighten the target responsibility evaluation, and improve the prevention and control level of pollution by hazardous wastes.
The legal regime of hazardous wastes pollution control was basically shaped, the capacity to utilize and dispose hazardous wastes were substantially upgraded, and the whole-process environmental supervision began to show effectiveness during the 11th Five-Year Plan period (2006-2010). In 2010, a total of 8.4 million tons of hazardous wastes was utilized and disposed by holders of hazardous wastes business certificates, up by 180% from the year 2006. However, the hazardous wastes pollution control work has a short history with poor foundations and huge amount of previous wastes left not disposed. So, there is still great pressure in this field and the situation is daunting during the ongoing Five-Year Plan period, said the official.
According to the Plan, to prevent and control pollution by hazardous wastes will be an integral part of deepened environmental protection effort during the ongoing Five-Year Plan period, when great importance will be attached to the pollution control at the source, the matching capacity for environmentally sound utilization and disposal of those wastes will be enhanced, the whole-process environmental supervision capacity will also be built up, the illegal transfer and dumping of those wastes will be effectively controlled, and a combination of legal, administrative, economic and technological approaches will be adopted, in order to keep improving the prevention and control level and mitigate the environmental risks of hazardous wastes. By the year 2015, the spot check will indicate that above 90% of the hazardous wastes sources will have had their hazardous wastes under standardized management, and above 95% of the holders of hazardous wastes business certificates will have managed to do so; basically all of the hazardous wastes from sources at or above municipal level will have utilized or disposed their wastes in an environmentally sound manner; and designated cities (including county-level city, prefecture city, and municipality directly under the Central Government) will have been able to dispose basically all of their medical wastes environment-safely.
The Plan specifies nine major tasks, including conducting surveys on hazardous wastes; exploring the possibility of reducing hazardous wastes at the source; making overall plans for advancing the construction of collective disposal facilities such as incineration and landfill facilities; developing the hazardous wastes utilization and service industry in a science-based approach; working harder to utilize and dispose heavy metals environment-safely; facilitating the environmentally sound disposal of medical wastes; advancing the utilization and disposal of hazardous wastes from before and from non-industrial sources; and improving the operation, management, and technical levels and stepping up the development of hazardous wastes supervision schemes.