November 10, 2016: The General Office of the State Council has released the Implementing Plan for the Permit System for Controlling the Discharge of Pollutants (the "Plan").

The Plan sets out that by 2020:

  • the issuance of pollutant discharge permits that cover all stationary pollution sources will be accomplished; 
  • responsibilities of enterprises and public institutions as subjects for environmental protection will be put in place; and 
  • stationary pollution sources will be under administration throughout the whole process while multi-pollutants will be controlled in a coordinated way.

The Plan also proposes the need for instituting a system for enterprises and public institutions to control their respective total amounts of pollutants discharged which will be measures per enterprise or public institution instead of per administrative region as before, and be connected with the environmental impact assessment system organically. The Plan also considers it necessary to regulate the orderly issuance of pollutant discharge permits, make a name list to manage the permission of pollutant discharge, promote the administration of such permission system per industry, and impose stricter administration and control over enterprises and public institutions located at such places where environment quality fails to reach relevant standards. 

Furthermore, the Plan requires that enterprises and public institutions will be guided to reduce the discharge of pollutants actively and a national pollutant discharge permit management information platform will be established by 2017 to redouble efforts for information disclosure and social supervision.