On December 23, 2016, the Ministry of Environmental Protection ("MEP") issued the Interim Provisions for the Administration of Pollutant Discharge License (the "Provisions").

The Provisions clearly state that the MEP, depending on the amount of pollutants generated and discharged and on the degree of harm to the environment, will administer the pollutant discharge licensing in a different manner for pollutant discharge entities in different industries or those of different types in the same industry as provided in the catalogues for the classification-based management. Those entities discharging pollutants that do relatively little harm to the environment shall be subject to streamlined administration of pollutant discharging licensing. Besides, the Provisions require that the pollutant discharging license shall indicate the following particulars, such as the locations of all draining exits and the number thereof, ways of discharging pollutants, whereabouts of pollutants discharged, types of pollutants discharged, permitted discharging concentration, permitted discharging amount and other matters. The Provisions also provide in detail for specific procedures for applying for, issuing and administering a pollutant discharging license, application materials and the time limit for handling such matters, pointing out that the existing pollutant discharge entities shall apply for and acquire a pollutant discharge license within the required time limit, while pollutant discharging entities for new construction projects shall apply for and acquire a pollutant discharge license before such project is put into production or use and the pollutant discharge occurs in practice.