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Implementing Rules on the Law on the Prevention and Control of Water Pollution

Decree No. 284 of the State Council , promulgated and  effective on March 20, 2000

Chapter I General Provisions

Article 1 This Rules is formulated pursuant to the Law of the People's Republic of China on the Prevention and Control of Water Pollution (hereinafter referred to as the Water Pollution Prevention and Control Law). 

Chapter II Supervision over the Prevention of Water Pollution

Article 2 Plans, formulated in accordance with Article 10 of the Water Pollution Prevention and Control Law, to prevent and control water pollution of basins of rivers shall include the following points:

(1) Environmental function requirements of the water body concerned;

(2) Water quality target to be reached in stages and the time limits;
(3) Key control areas and key pollution sources in prevention and control of water pollution, as well as specific implementation measures;

(4) Plans for the Construction of facilities for urban runoff and waste water treatment within the water basin.

Article 3 Where the minimum runoff from a large or medium-sized reservoir is determined, the competent department of water administration of the People's government at or above the county level shall retain the natural purification capacity of the downstream water body, and shall consult with the environmental protection department of the People's government at the same level.

Article 4 An enterprise or institution that discharges pollutants into a water body shall submit the Pollutants Discharge Report and Registration Form to the environmental protection department of the local People's government at or above the county level. If an enterprise or institution discharges pollutants in excess of the limits set by the national or local standards, it shall, while submitting the Pollutants Discharge Report and Registration Form, state clear the reason for the excessive discharge and elimination and control measures to be taken within the prescribed time limit.

Article 5 If it is necessary for an enterprise or institution to dismantle or leave idle pollutants treatment installations, a report with clearly stated reason shall be submitted to the environmental protection department of the local People's government at or above the county level in advance. The environmental protection department shall, within a month upon receiving the report, make decision to approve it or not, and shall reply in written form. If the report is not replied within the above time limit, it shall be deemed approved.

Article 6 With regard to water bodies where the standards for water quality established by the State still maynot be attained although the discharge of water pollutants has conformed to the discharge standards, a system for control of total discharge of major pollutants may be instituted.Total discharge control plans for major river basins designated by the State shall be formulated by the environmental protection department under the State Council together with other relevant departments under the State Council and in consultation with People's governments of relevant provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government, and shall be submitted to the State Council for approval. Total discharge control plans for other water bodies shall be formulated by the environmental protection department of the people's government of the province, autonomous region or municipality directly under the Central Government together with other departments at the same level, and in consultation with relevant local governments, and shall be submitted to people's government of the province, autonomous region or municipality directly under the Central Government for approval; Among these plans, total discharge control plans for water bodies that cross multiple provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government shall be decided by People's governments of relevant provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government after negotiation.

Article 7 A total discharge control plan shall include total discharge control areas, categories of major pollutants and total discharge, discharge to be reduced and the time limit for the reduction.

Article 8 For a water body where control of total discharge of major pollutants is pursuant to the law, the local People's government at or above the county level shall, in accordance with the total discharge control target designated in the total discharge control plan, formulate implementation plans of total discharge control for the water bodies within its jurisdiction.A total discharge control implementation plan shall determine the units required to reduce pollutant discharge, categories of major pollutants discharged by each unit and total discharge control target for each unit, discharge to be reduced, and time limits for the reduction.

Article 9 Allocation of control targets for the total discharge of major pollutants shall follow the principles of openness, fairness and justness, and shall be implemented according to the scientific and uniformed criteria. The environmental protection department under the State Council shall formulate the rules for the allocation of total discharge control targets after consultation with other relevant departments under the State Council.

Article 10 An environmental protection department of the local People's government at or above the county level shall, pursuant to the implementation plans of total discharge control, examine the amount of major pollutants discharged into the water bodies by pollutant discharging units within its jurisdiction, and shall grant pollutants discharge licenses to units whose discharge of pollutants do not exceed the prescribed total discharge control targets; Units that discharge pollutants in excess of the prescribed control targets shall be ordered to take elimination and control measures before a deadline, and during this time, provisional pollutants discharge licenses shall be granted. The environmental protection department under the State Council shall formulate specific rules on this.

Article 11 Units listed in total implementation plans of total discharge control to reduce discharge, shall set pollutants discharge outlets and install total discharge control monitoring equipment pursuant to the requirements of the environmental protection department under the State Council. 

Article 12 The People's governments of provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government located along major river basins designated by the State shall implement the water quality standards applicable to water bodies within provincial boundaries as approved by the State.

Article 13 Monitoring of water quality of water bodies within relevant provincial boundaries along major river basins designated by the State shall be carried out in accordance with the codes for water quality monitoring formulated by the environmental protection department under the State Council.

Article 14 The administrative department for urban construction shall, in accordance with the overall plan for urban construction, organize the formulation of professional plans for urban runoff and sewage treatment, and shall organize the construction of centralized facilities for treatment of urban sewage after the plans.

Article 15 Water quality of runoff from the centralized urban sewage treatment facilities shall be managed in accordance with pollutants discharge standards stipulated by the State or by the local governments.Operators of facilities for central treatment of urban sewage shall be responsible for the water quality of runoff from the facilities.The environmental protection departments shall sample and test on the quality and quantity of runoff from facilities for central treatment of urban sewage.

Article 16 A pollutants discharging unit that is ordered to eliminate and control pollution before a deadline shall submit elimination and control plans and regularly report the progress of elimination and control to the environmental department of the People's government that makes the decision for the elimination and control.Environmental protection department of the People's government that decides the elimination and control shall inspect the progress of the elimination and control, and shall check and accept the elimination and control project that is completed before the deadline.A pollutants discharging unit that is ordered to eliminate and control pollution before a deadline shall accomplish the elimination and control task before the deadline; A unit that fails to accomplish the elimination and control task before the deadline due to force majeure shall submit put forward an application for an extension of the time limit to the environmental protection department of the People's government that decides the elimination and control within one month of the occurrence of the event, and the People's government that decides the elimination and control shall examine the application and decide whether to approve it.

Article 17 Environmental protection departments and administrative agencies in charge of maritime affairs and fishery management, while conducting on-site inspections of units discharging pollutants into water bodies within their jurisdiction, shall show the law enforcing papers or wear law enforcing badges.

Article 18 Environmental protection departments and administrative agencies in charge of maritime affairs and fishery management, while conducting on site inspections, are authorized to require units under inspection to provide the following information and data as necessary:

(1) status of pollutants discharge;

(2) facilities for pollutants treatment and their status of running, operation and management;

(3) models and specifications of the monitoring instruments, meters and equipment, and their status of examination and calibration;

(4) monitoring and analysis methods, and monitoring records;

(5) progress of pollution elimination and control before a deadline;

(6) accidental events and relevant records;

(7) information about the use of manufacture techniques and raw materials related to pollution;

(8) other information and data related to the prevention and control of water pollution.

Article 19 An enterprise or institution that causes a water pollution accident shall promptly take actions to stop or reduce pollutants discharge, and shall within 48 hours of the accident submit an initial reports to the local environmental protection department about the time, place and type of the accident, categories and quantities of pollutants discharged, economic losses, casualties and emergency measures taken, etc; Upon thorough investigation of the accident, the unit shall submit a written report to the local environmental protection department about the cause, process and damage of the accident, measures taken and result of settlement, as well as the potential damage or indirect damages, social influence, aftermath and preventive measures, with proof documents attached.Upon receiving the initial report about the water pollution accident, the environmental protection department shall promptly report to the People's government at the same level and the environmental protection department at the next higher level. The local People's government shall organize relevant departments to investigate into causes of the accident and take effective measures to reduce or eliminate the pollution. The environmental protection department of the People's government at or above the county level shall organize the monitoring of the water bodies that may be affected by the accident, and shall investigate into and settle the event. A vessel that causes water pollution shall promptly report to the closest maritime affairs agency. If the accident causes fishery water body pollution, the pollutor shall promptly report to the local fishery management agency. Upon receiving such a report, the agencies in charge of maritime affairs or fishery management shall promptly inform the environmental protection department of the People's governments at the same level, and shall promptly start investigation into and settlement of the accident.If a water pollution accident has caused or might cause harm or damage to multiple administrative areas, the local People's government at or above the county level at the site of the accident shall promptly inform relevant People's governments of areas that are or might be affected or damaged by the accident about the time, place and type of the accident, categories and quantities of pollutants discharged, and necessary measures to be taken, etc.

Chapter III Prevention of Surface Water Pollution

Article 20 Protection zones for domestic and drinking water surface sources that cover multiple provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government shall be delineated by the People's governments of the relevant provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government upon negotiation. In the case no consensus may be reached after negotiation, the environmental protection department under the State Council together with departments in charge of water conservancy, territory and resources, public health, construction and other relevant departments under the State Council shall formulate the delineation plans and submit the plans to the State Council for approval. In delineation of other protection zones for domestic and drinking water surface sources, People's government of the relevant municipalities and counties shall formulate delineation plans upon negotiation, and submit the plans to the people's governments of provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government for approval. In the case no consensus may be reached after negotiation, the environmental protection departments of the People's governments of provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government together with departments in charge of water conservancy, territory and resources, public health and construction and other relevant departments at the same level shall formulate the delineation plans and submit the plans to the People's governments of provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government for approval.Protection zones for domestic and drinking water surface sources are classified into the first-grade protection zones and second-grade protection zones.

Article 21 Standards Class II of the National Standards for the Environmental Quality of Surface Water is applicable to the water quality of first-grade protection zones for domestic and drinking water surface sources; while Standards Class III of the National Standards for the Environmental Quality of Surface Water is applicable to water quality in second-grade protection zones for domestic and drinking water surface sources. 

Article 22 Protection of first-grade protection zones for domestic and drinking water surface sources shall be conducted in accordance with Article 20 of the Water Pollution Prevention and Control Law. 

Article 23 No new or expansion construction projects that discharges pollutants into the water bodies shall be allowed in second-grade protection zones for domestic and drinking water surface sources. Reconstruction projects in second-grade protection zones for domestic and drinking water surface sources shall reduce the quantities of pollutants discharged.Discharge of pollutants in excess of pollutants discharge standards prescribed by the State or by local governments shall not be allowed in second-grade protection zones for domestic and drinking water surface sources.No dock for loading and unloading of rubbish, oil, toxic and hazardous goods is allowed to be built in second-grade protection zones for domestic and drinking water surface sources.

Article 24 Where industrial waste water or urban sewage is used for irrigation, agricultural administrative department of the People's government at or above the county level shall organize regular monitor of the quality of the irrigation water, the irrigated soil and the agricultural products, and take effective measures to prevent soil, ground water and agricultural products pollution. 

Article 25 Vessels navigating in inland waters shall be equipped with pollution prevention equipment as required by the State, and possess certificates issued by vessel inspection agencies.Vessels without pollution prevention equipment or the equipment fail to meet the requirements of the State shall be ordered to reach the required standards within a limited time.

Article 26 Vessels navigating in inland waters shall possess pollution prevention documents or records as required by the maritime affairs agency. Oil tankers over 150 total tons and non-oil-tankers over 400 total tons navigating in inland waters shall possess oil record books.

Article 27 Harbors and docks shall be equipped with facilities for the collecting and treatment of waste water containing oil and garbage. The collecting and treatment facilities shall be built, operated and maintained by the units running the harbor.Vessels navigating in inland waters shall not discharge waste oil, residual oil, or garbage into water bodies. Passenger vessels and tourist vessels navigating in inland waters shall establish garbage management systems.

Article 28 Before conducting the following operations, vessels in a harbor shall submit application to the maritime affairs agency concerned, and conduct the operation within the designated areas after the application is approved:

(1) washing decks and cabins of bulk vessels conveying toxic goods and dusts;

(2) discharging ballasting water, water used to wash cabins, engine rooms sewage and other remains; and

(3) using chemical oil elimination reagents.

Article 29 When a vessel loads or unloads oil or other toxic, hazardous or radioactive goods at a harbor or a dock, the owner of the vessel and the operating unit shall take preventive measures to prevent water pollution.

Article 30 If a vessel causes or might cause water pollution after an accident, the maritime affairs agency shall organize compulsive salvage, cleaning or tugging. Expenses resulted from these actions shall be afforded by the owner of the vessel thay causes the trouble.

Article 31 Units involved in building, repairing, dismantling and towing of ships shall be equipped with pollution prevention equipment; in operation, the units shall take precautions to prevent water pollution by oil, oil mixtures and other waste materials.

Chapter IV Prevention of Ground Water Pollution

Article 32 In delineation of protection zones for domestic and drinking water underground sources, the environmental protection departments of the people's governments at or above the county level together with departments in charge of water conservancy, territory and resources, public health construction, and other relevant departments at the same level, shall formulate the delineation plans based on the geographical location of the drinking water sources, hydrological and geological conditions, quantities of water supply, exploitation methods and distribution of pollution sources, and submit the plans to the local People's governments at the same level for approval.Standards Class II of National Standards for the Environmental Quality of Ground Water is applicable to water quality in protection zones for domestic and drinking water underground sources.

Article 33 The following activities shall be prohibited in protection zones for domestic and drinking water underground sources:

(1) irrigation with waste water;

(2) utilization of sludge containing toxic substances for fertilizer;

(3) utilization of virulent and long-remaining pesticides; and

(4) using holes and crevices in aquifers, karst caves and abandoned mineral caves for storage of petroleum, radioactive substances, toxic chemicals and pesticides.

Article 34 In exploiting ground water from multiple aquifers, the following aquifers shall be exploited separately, while no combined exploitation shall be allowed:

(1) aquifers of half salt water, salt water and brine;

(2) polluted aquifers;

(3) aquifers containing toxic and hazardous elements in excess of the drinking water sanitary standard; and

(4) hot ground water, hot spring and mineral water with medical values and special economic values.

Article 35 While carrying out prospecting project that uncover or pierce aquifers, measures to separate water in different aquifers shall be taken and holes shall be sealed in accordance with the requirements of the relevant specifications. 

Article 36 For mines and pits that discharge toxic and hazardous waste water, water collection installations shall be set up around the mineral deposits, and effective measures shall be taken to prevent ground water pollution.

Article 37 Quality of water used for artificial recharge for ground drinking water shall meet the water quality standards for domestic and drinking water sources, and shall be approved by the administrative department of public health of local People's government at or above the county level.

Chapter V Legal Liabilities

 Article 38 Fine imposed in accordance with Clauses 1(1), (2) or (4) of Article 46 of the Water Pollution Prevention and Control Law shall follow these rules:

(1) For those refusing to report or submitting a false report on items for which registration is required by the environmental protection department under the State Council, a fine not exceeding 10,000 Yuan may be imposed;

(2) For those refusing an on-site inspection by the environmental protection department or the agencies in charge of maritime affairs or fishery management or resorting to trickery or fraud while under inspection, a fine not exceeding 10,000 Yuan may be imposed; and

(3) For those failing to pay, as provided for by the State, the fee for pollutant discharge or for excess discharge, besides the discharge or excessive discharge fee and the late fee, a fine not exceeding 50 percent of the due payment may be imposed.

Article 39 Fine imposed in accordance with Clause 1(3) of Article 46 of the Water Pollution Prevention and Control Law shall follow these rules:

(1) For those discharging deadly toxic liquid waste into the water body or discharging, dumping or directly burying soluble slag, tailings, etc containing such substances as mercury, cadmium, arsenic, chromium, cyanide and yellow phosphorus into the water body, or directly burying them, a fine not exceeding 100,000 Yuan may be imposed;

(2) For those discharging or dumping into the water body radioactive solid wastes, oils, acid or alkaline solutions or waste water containing high- or medium-level radioactive substances, a fine not exceeding 50,000 Yuan may be imposed;

(3) For those discharging residual oil and waste oil from vessels into a water body, or cleaning in a water body vehicles and containers that is once used to store oil or toxic pollutants, a fine not exceeding 10,000Yuan may be imposed;

(4) For those discharging or dumping industrial waste residues and urban refuse into a water body or depositing solid wastes on beaches and bank slopes below the highest water level of rivers, lakes, mayals, irrigation channels or reservoirs, a fine not exceeding 10,000 Yuan may be imposed;

(5) For those dumping ship refuse into a water body, a fine not exceeding 2,000 Yuan may be imposed;

(6) For enterprises or institutions using karst caves to discharge or dump polluted water containing pathogens or other waste materials, a fine not exceeding 20,000 Yuan shall be imposed; for those discharging waste water containing toxic pollutants into seepage wells, pits or crevices, a fine not exceeding 50,000 Yuan may be imposed; and 

(7) For enterprises or institutions, at places where no satisfactory impervious strata exist, using ditches, pits or ponds devoid of safeguards against seepage for conveyance or storage of waste water containing toxic pollutants, a fine not exceeding 10,000 Yuan shall be imposed; for those using mayals, ditches and dikes to transport or store waste water containing toxic pollutants without taking actions to prevent seepage, a fine not exceeding 20,000 Yuan may be imposed.

Article 40 A fine not exceeding 100,000 Yuan may be imposed in accordance with Article 47 of the Water Pollution Prevention and Control Law.

Article 41 A fine not exceeding 100,000 Yuan may be imposed in accordance with Article 48 of the Water Pollution Prevention and Control Law.

Article 42 A fine not exceeding 200,000 Yuan may be imposed in accordance with Clause 1 ofArticle 52 of the Water Pollution Prevention and Control Law.

Article 43 A fine imposed in accordance with Article 53 of the Water Pollution Prevention and Control Law shall follow these rules:

(1) For an enterprise or institution that causes water pollution accidences, a fine shall be imposed as of 20 percent of the direct losses incurred, but shall not exceed 200,000 Yuan; and

(2) For those incurring severe economic losses, a fine shall be imposed as of 30 percent of the direct losses incurred, but shall not exceed 1,000,000 Yuan.

 Article 44 Those discharging pollutants in violation of the rules of the pollutants discharge license or the temporary pollutants discharge license shall be ordered by the environmental protection department issuing the license to put right the violation within a limited time, and may be concurrently imposed a fine not exceeding 50,000 Yuan: for those constituting serious violation, the pollutants discharge license or temporary pollutants discharge license may be rescinded concurrently.

Article 45 Those, in violation of Article 11 of this Rules, failing to set up pollutants discharge outlets or install the total discharge control monitoring equipment as required, shall be ordered by the environmental protection department to put right the violation within a limited time, and may be imposed a fine not exceeding 10,000 Yuan concurrently.

Article 46 Those, in violation of Clause 1 of Article 23 of this Rules, building new or expansion construction projects in second-grade protection zones for domestic and drinking water surface sources, or the reconstruction projects failing to reduce quantities of pollutants discharge, shall be ordered to stop operation or close down by the People's governments at or above the county level in accordance with its authority. Those, in violation of Clause 2 of Article 23 of this Rules, discharging pollutants in excess of the standard stipulated by the State or the local government in second-grade protection zones for domestic and drinking water surface sources, shall be ordered to eliminate and control pollution before a deadline by the people's governments at or above the county level, and may be imposed a fine not exceeding 100,000 Yuan; those failing to eliminate and control pollution before the deadline shall be ordered to stop operation or close down by the People's governments at or above the county level in accordance with its authority.Those, in violation of Clause 3 of Article 23 of this Rules, building dock for loading and unloading of rubbish, oil, toxic and hazardous goods in second-grade protection zones for domestic and drinking water surface sources, shall be ordered by the environmental protection departments of the People's governments at or above the county level to dismantle the dorks within a limited time, and may be imposed a fine not exceeding 100,000 Yuan.

Article 47 Those, in violation of Clause 4 of Article 33 of this Rules, using holes and crevices in aquifers, karst caves and abandoned mineral caves for storage of petroleum, radioactive substances, toxic chemicals and pesticides, shall be ordered by the environmental protection departments of the People's governments at or above the county level to put right the violation, and may be imposed a fine not exceeding 100,000 Yuan.

Article 48 A unit that pays pollutants discharge fee, excess pollutants discharge fee or is imposed a disciplinary warning or a fine, is not exempted from the duty to eliminate pollution, remove the harm and compensate for the losses.

Chapter VI Supplementary Provision

Article 49 This Rules shall enter into force on the date of promulgation. The Rules for the Implementation of the Law of the People's Republic of China on the Prevention and Control of Water Pollution approved by the State Council and promulgated by the National Environmental Protection Agency on July 12, 1989, shall be abrogated at the time.

(This English version is for your reference only.In case any discrepancy exists between the Chinese and English context, the Chinese version shall prevail.)

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