Environmental Protection Law of the People's Republic of China

Article 1. This Law is formulated for the purpose of protecting and improving people's environment and the ecological environment preventing and controlling pollution and other public hazards safeguarding human health and facilitating the development of socialist modernization.

Article 2. Environment as used in this Law refers to the total body of all natural elements and artificially transformed natural elements affecting human existence and development which includes the atmosphere water seas land minerals forests grasslands wildlife natural and human remains nature reserves historic sites and scenic spots and urban and rural areas.

Article 3. This Law shall apply to the territory of the People's Republic of China and other sea areas under the jurisdiction of the People's Republic of China.

Article 4. The plans for environmental protection formulated by the state must be incorporated into the national economic and social development plans the state shall adopt economic and technological policies and measures favourable for environmental protection so as to coordinate the work of environmental protection with economic construction and social development.

Article 5. The state shall encourage the development of education in the science of environmental protection strengthen the study and development of the science and technology of environmental protection raise the scientific and technological level of environmental protection and popularize scientific knowledge of environmental protection.

Article 6. All units and individuals shall have the obligation to protect the environment and shall have the right to report on or file charges against units or individuals that cause pollution or damage to the environment.

Article 7. The competent department of environmental protection administration under the State Council shall conduct unified supervision and management of the environmental protection work throughout the country.

The competent departments of environmental protection administration of the local people's governments at or above the county level shall conduct unified supervision and management of the environmental protection work within areas under their jurisdiction.

The state administrative department of marine affairs the harbour superintendency administration the fisheries administration and fishing harbour superintendency agencies the environmental protection department of the armed forces and the administrative departments of public security transportation railways and civil aviation at various levels shall in accordance with the provisions of relevant laws conduct supervision and management of the prevention and control of environmental pollution.

The competent administrative departments of land minerals forestry agriculture and water conservancy of the people's governments at or above the county level shall in accordance with the provisions of relevant laws conduct supervision and management of the protection of natural resources.

Article 8. The people's government shall give awards to units and individuals that have made outstanding achievements in protecting and improving the environment.

CHAPTER II SUPERVISION AND MANAGEMENT OF THE ENVIRONMENT

Article 9. The competent department of environmental protection administration under the State Council shall establish the national standards for environment quality.

The people's governments of provinces autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government may establish their local standards for environment quality for items not specified in the national standards for environment quality and shall report them to the competent department of environmental protection administration under the State Council for the record.

Article 10. The competent department of environmental protection administration under the State Council shall in accordance with the national standards for environment quality and the country's economic and technological conditions establish the national standards for the discharge of pollutants.

The people's governments of provinces autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government may establish their local standards for the discharge of pollutants for items not specified in the national standards with regard to items already specified in the national standards they may set local standards which are more stringent than the national standards and report the same to the competent department of environmental protection administration under the State Council for the record.

Units that discharge pollutants in areas where the local standards for the discharge of pollutants have been established shall observe such local standards.

Article 11. The competent department of environmental protection administration under the State Council shall establish a monitoring system formulate the monitoring norm and in conjunction with relevant departments organize a monitoring network and strengthen the management of environmental monitoring.

The competent departments of environmental protection administration under the State Council and governments of provinces autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government shall regularly issue bulletins on environmental situations.

Article 12. The competent departments of environmental protection administration of the people's governments at or above the county level shall in conjunction with relevant departments make an investigation and an assessment of the environmental situation within areas under their jurisdiction draw up plans for environmental protection which shall subject to overall balancing by the department of planning be submitted to the people' s government at the same level for approval before implementation.

Article 13. Units constructing projects that cause pollution to the environment must observe the state provisions concerning environmental protection for such construction projects.

The environmental impact statement on a construction project must assess the pollution the project is likely to produce and its impact on the environment and stipulate the preventive and curative measures the statement shall after initial examination by the authorities in charge of the construction project be submitted by specified procedure to the competent department of environmental protection administration for approval.

The department of planning shall not ratify the design plan descriptions of the construction project until after the environmental impact statement on the construction project is approved.

Article 14. The competent departments of environmental protection administration of the people's governments at or above the county level or other departments invested by law with power to conduct environmental supervision and management shall be empowered to make on-site inspections of units under their jurisdiction that discharge pollutants.

The units being inspected shall truthfully report the situation to them and provide them with the necessary information. The inspecting authorities shall keep confidential the technological know-how and business secrets of the units inspected.

Article 15. Work for the prevention and control of the environmental pollution and damage that involve various administrative areas shall be conducted by the relevant local people's governments through negotiation or by decision of the people's government at a higher level through mediation.

CHAPTER III PROTECTION AND IMPROVEMENT OF THE ENVIRONMENT

Article 16. The local people's governments at various levels shall be responsible for the environment quality of areas under their jurisdiction and take measures to improve the environment quality.

Article 17. The people's governments at various levels shall take measures to protect regions representing various types of natural ecological systems regions with a natural distribution of rare and endangered wild animals and plants regions where major sources of water are conserved geological structures of major scientific and cultural value famous regions where karst caves and fossil deposits are distributed traces of glaciers volcanoes and hot springs traces of human history and ancient and precious trees. Damage to the above shall be strictly forbidden.

Article 18. Within the scenic spots or historic sites nature reserves and other zones that need special protection as designated by the State Council the relevant competent department under the State Council and the people's governments of provinces autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government no industrial production installations that cause environmental pollution shall be built other installations to be built in these areas must not exceed the prescribed standards for the discharge of pollutants.

If the installations that have been built discharge more pollutants than are specified by the prescribed discharge standards such pollution shall be eliminated or controlled within a prescribed period of time.

Article 19. Measures must be taken to protect the ecological environment while natural resources are being developed or utilized.

Article 20. The people's governments at various levels shall provide better protection for the agricultural environment by preventing and controlling soil pollution the desertification and alkalization of land the impoverishment of soil the deterioration of land into marshes earth subsidence the damage of vegetation soil erosion the drying up of sources of water the extinction of species and the occurence and development of other ecological imbalances by extending the scale of a comprehensive prevention and control of plant diseases and insect pests and by promoting a rational application of chemical fertilizers pesticides and plant growth hormone.