The Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) will formulate and revise various key standards on the environmental protection sector and raise the threshold for environmental access to promote industrial upgrading and structural optimization during the 13th Five-year Plan period.
The MEP will implement the 13th Five-year Plan on National Environmental Protection Standards during the 13th Five-year Plan period and introduce various standards on environmental quality and the emission of pollutants to effectively support the administration on water, air and soil environment and the licenses on pollutants emission, indicated Zou Shoumin, head of the Environmental Inspection Bureau under the MEP.
“We will strive to introduce 800 to 1,000 standards on environmental protection to shore up the weaknesses of the current standards during the 13th Five-year Plan period. For the standards on the emission of pollutants with more than five years, we will revise them and make stricter standards on the emission of certain air pollutants to improve air quality.” Zou said that the guideline on the appraisal of the implementation of national standards on pollutants emission has been published last year.
The key environmental quality standards include the soil environmental quality standards for farmland and construction land, the standard on seawater quality, the standards on the environmental quality appraisal in coastal areas, the guideline on the air quality appraisal within vehicles, the standards on noises in areas surrounding airports and the standards on regional environmental vibration in urban areas. The standards on the emission of key pollutants include the standards on the emission of pesticide, electronics, coatings, dyestuffs and other pollutants as well as National VI standards for light and heavy vehicles and National IV standards for motorcycles.
It is learnt that standard for quality of soil environment in farmland and construction land will be unveiled before the end of this year. There are some problems in the existing standard for soil environment of China for it was released in 1995. The MEP started to prepare for revising the standard three years ago, aiming to classify soil pollution prevention and particularly repair of soil pollution site. The standard will include two parts, namely, standard for quality of farmland soil environment and guidance for screening construction land soil pollution risk. The MEP began to solicit public opinions from 2015 and is making further revision now.
Since the 12th Five-year Plan period, the MEP accelerated revising standard for environmental protection and has formed a system including two levels (national-level and local-level) and five types of standards (environment quality, pollutant emission and control, environment monitoring, environment management and regulation, and environment basic standard).
According to statistics from MEP, among the 1,753 items of existing environmental protection standard, there are 1,030 items of environment monitoring standard, 163 items of pollutant emission (control) standard, 506 items of environment management and regulation standard, 16 items of environment quality standard and 38 items of environment basic standard.
Besides beefing up improving standard for control of gas pollutant emission, the MEP also quickened establishing a standard system for control of water pollutant emission which supports emission reduction of key pollutants such as ammonia nitrogen and heavy metal and covers water pollutions from industry, life and agriculture.
As of now, there are 64 items of standard for water pollutant discharge and 158 items of control over water pollutant discharge, which is equivalent with that of developed countries or regions.
“China is now gradually setting up a new environmental management system based on pollutants discharge license. On one hand, it will complement the standards in the new management system about pollutants discharge license as far as possible. On the other hand, some management regulation about pollutants discharge license should be upgraded to technical regulation so as to ensure that environment standard will perfectly connect with pollutants discharge license as much as possible,” said Zou.