On December 27, 2016, the Ministry of Environmental Protection and the State Archives Bureau jointly issued the Administrative Measures for Environmental Protection Archives (the "Measures"), which came into force on March 1, 2017.
The Measures include contents such as the responsibilities of environmental protection departments in respect of archives, the responsibilities of archive management institutions and documents (projects) undertaking entities, the archiving of documents and materials, the management of archives, the utilization of archives, and rewards and punishments. The Measures provide that the scope of documents and materials on environmental protection to be archived shall comprehensively and systematically reflect the integrated administration, policies and regulations, science and technology, environmental impact assessment, environmental monitoring, pollution prevention and control, ecological protection, safety supervision over nuclear and radiation, and law enforcement for environmental monitoring, and other business activities. In addition, the Measures clarify that environmental protection departments shall clarify the archiving requirements of documents and materials while laying out specific work, such as the general investigation of pollution sources and the investigation of environmental quality; and shall check the collection and arrangement of documents and materials while inspecting the progress of specific work. Where the documents and materials for major construction projects, important scientific and research projects and key ecological protection projects fail to meet the archiving requirements, the project identification, acceptance inspection and application for award shall not be allowed for such projects.