PLAN ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT ORDINANCE

The Plan Environmental Impact Assessment Ordinance, adopted at the 76th executive meeting of the State Council on August 12, 2009, is hereby promulgated with the order No. 559 of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, and shall be put into effect as of October 1, 2009.

Chapter I General Provisions


Article 1 The Ordinance is established in accordance with the Law of the People′s Republic of China on Environmental Impact Assessment, with the purpose of strengthening the plan environmental impact assessment work, improving the scientificity of planning, preventing from the source environmental pollution and ecological damage, and promoting an overall coordinated and sustainable development of the economy, the society and the environment. 

Article 2 The relevant departments of the State Council, the local people’s government at or above the city level with establishment of districts, and their relevant departments, shall organize environmental impact assessment in their developed land utilization related plans, the plans for construction, exploitation and utilization of areas, drainage basins and sea areas (hereinafter referred to as comprehensive plans), and relevant special plans for industry, agriculture, animal husbandry, forestry, energy, water conservancy, transportation, urban construction, tourism, natural resources development (hereinafter referred to as special plans).

The specific scope of the plans required of environmental impact assessment in accordance with the above stipulations shall be formulated by the environmental protection departments of the State Council in conjunction with relevant departments under the State Council, and implemented upon approval of the State Council.

Article 3 The environmental impact assessment for plans shall follow the objective, open, and fair principle. 

Article 4 The state shall establish an information sharing system for plan environmental impact assessment.

The people's government at or above the county level and the relevant departments thereof shall implement information sharing of the materials required for plan environmental impact assessment.

Article 5 The expenses of plan environmental impact assessment shall, according to the budget management rules, be included in the financial budget, under a strict control of expenditure, and subject to audit supervision.

Article 6 Any institution or individual has the right to report to plan approving department, plan development department or environmental protection departments, any violation of this provision or any significant adverse impact on the environment exerted during the course of plan implementation. The relevant departments shall after receiving the report investigate the case in accordance with the law.

Chapter II Assessment


Article 7 The plan development department shall organize environmental impact assessment on plans during the course of plan preparation.

Article 8 To implement plan environmental impact assessment, the following contents shall be analyzed, predicted and assessed,
(1) The overall impact on ecological system of relevant areas, drainage basins and sea areas that might result from implementation of the plan;
(2) The long term impact on the environment and human health that might result from implementation of the plan; 
(3) The relations among economic benefits, social benefits and environmental benefits, as well as the relations between immediate interests and long-term interests that might result from implementation of the plan. 
 
Article 9 Plan environmental impact assessment shall follow relevant environmental protection standards, and technical guidelines and specifications on environmental impact assessment. 

The technical guidelines on plan environmental impact assessment shall be formulated by environmental protection department of the State Council in conjunction with other relevant departments of the State Council. The technical specifications on plan environmental impact assessment shall be formulated by relevant departments under the State Council in accordance with the technical guidelines on plan environmental impact assessment and sent to the environmental protection department under the State Council for record.

Article 10 While formulating a comprehensive plan, environmental impact divisions or notes shall be formulated according to the effect possibly brought about to the environment after plan implementation.

While formulating a special plan, an environmental impact statement shall be formulated before the draft plan is submitted for approval. While formulating a directive plan of a special plan, environmental impact divisions or notes shall be formulated in accordance with the preceding clause of this article.

The directive plan as listed in the preceding clause refers to a special plan with the developing strategy as its main content.
  
Article 11 Environmental impact divisions or notes shall include the following contents:
(1) The analysis, prediction and evaluation of the environmental impact that may result from plan implementation, which mainly include the resource and environment carrying capacity analysis, adverse environment impact analysis and prediction, and environmental harmony analysis with related plans.

(2) The countermeasures and measure for preventing and mitigating adverse environmental impact, which mainly include policies, administrative measures or technology for preventing or mitigating adverse environmental impact. 

In addition to the above contents, the environmental impact statement shall include a conclusion of environmental impact assessment which mainly include environmental rationality and feasibility of the draft plan, the rationality and effectiveness of the countermeasures and measures for preventing or mitigating adverse environmental impact, and the revision suggestions on the draft plan. 

Article 12 Environmental impact divisions or notes, environmental impact statements (hereinafter referred to as environmental impact assessment documents) shall be compiled by plan development department or technical institutions which organize the plan environment impact assessment. The plan development department shall be responsible for the quality of the environmental impact assessment documents. 
 
Article 13 Regarding the special plan that may result in adverse environmental impact and that involve public environmental benefits, the plan development department shall ask for comments from the related departments, specialists and the public through questionnaires, workshops, forums or public hearing before the draft plan is submitted for approval, with the exception of what is classified by law.

Should significant difference exists between environmental impact assessment conclusions and comments of related departments, specialists and the public, the plan development authority shall organize forums or hearings to further the argument.

The plan development department shall enclose in the environmental impact statement submitted for review an explanation on whether to adopt the comments or not.

Article 14 The plan development department shall, according to this provision, renew or add amendments to the environmental impact assessment of approved plans which have major adjustments or revision in terms of implementation scope, applicable period, scale, structure and layout. 

Chapter III Review


Article 15 When submitting draft comprehensive plan and draft directive plan of special plan for review, the plan development department shall enclose the environmental impact division or notes along with the draft plan to the plan approving department. The plan approving department shall require the plan development department to provide environmental impact divisions or notes for plans without environmental impact divisions or notes attached. The plan approving department shall not grant approval to plans without environmental impact divisions or notes attached.

Article 16 When submitting draft special plan for review, the plan development department shall enclose the environmental impact statement along with the draft plan to the plan approving department. The plan approving department shall require the plan development department to provide environmental impact statement for plans without environmental impact statement. The plan approving department shall not grant approval to plans without environmental impact statement attached.

Article 17 For special plans under approval of local people's governments at or above the city level with establishment of districts, the environmental protection department shall organize a review group composed of representatives of relevant departments and specialists to review the environmental impact statement before its approval. The review group shall submit written review comments. 

The review method of environmental impact statements of special plans under approval of relevant departments of people’s governments at or above the province level shall be formulated by the administrative department of environmental protection under the State Council in conjunction with other relevant departments of the State Council. 

Article 18 The specialists of the review group shall be chosen randomly from the specialists of related disciplines in specialist database established in accordance with relevant law. However, the specialists who have participated in the environmental impact statement development shall not be a member of the review group .

The number of specialists shall not be less than half of the total numbers of the review group; otherwise the opinion from the review group shall be invalid. 
 
Article 19 The members of the review group shall put forward written review comments on the environmental impact statements objectively, fairly and independently. The plan approving department, plan development department or convening department of review group shall not intervene in this process. 

Review comments shall include the following contents:
(1) Authenticity of basic documents and data;
(2) Suitability of assessment method;
(3) Reliability of environmental impact analysis, prediction and assessment;
(4) Rationality and effectiveness of countermeasures and measure for preventing or mitigating adverse environmental impact;
(5) The rationality of reason why public opinion is adopted or not. 
(6) Scientificity of an environmental impact assessment conclusion.

The review comments shall be signed and agreed by more than three quarters of members of the review group. Any disagreement shall be recorded and reflected accordingly. 
 
Article 20 The review group should put forward comments for modifying and revisiting for environmental impact statement if any of the following circumstances appear,
(1) Basic documents or data are invalid;
(2) Assessment method is chosen improperly;
(3) Analyses, prediction and assessment of the adverse environmental impact are not accurate or profound enough, and need to be further proved. 
(4) Serious pitfalls exist in the countermeasures and measures for preventing or mitigating adverse environmental impact. 
(5) The conclusion of environmental impact assessment is indeterminate, improper or incorrect;
(6) Without attaching the illustrations of reasons for whether or not to adopt the public opinion; or the reason for not adopting the public opinion is obviously unreasonable.
(7) The content has other great pitfalls or omissions. 
  
Article 21 Review group shall put forward comments rejecting the environmental impact statements should any of the following circumstances appear,
(1)It did not make a scientific judgment of the extent or scope of the adverse environmental impact produced possibly by the plan implementation, under the current knowledge level and technical conditions;
(2)The plan implementation may bring about significant adverse environmental impact with no countermeasures or measures to prevent or mitigate it. 

Article 22 The plan approving department shall view the environmental impact statement conclusions and the review comments as a key basis for reviewing the draft special plan.

If the plan approving department does not adopt the environmental impact statement conclusions and the review comments, it shall give written explanations item by item of the reasons for their decision and kept them in record for future reference. The relevant departments, specialists and the public may apply for reading those except what is classified by law.
  
Article 23 Where plans of which environmental impact assessment has been conducted contain specific construction projects, the conclusions of plan environmental impact assessment shall be the key basis for the environmental impact assessment of the construction projects. The content of environmental impact assessment of the construction project may be simplified according to the analysis of the plan environmental impact assessment. 

Chapter IV Follow-up Environmental Impact Assessment


Article 24 After the plan with significant environmental impact is implemented, the plan development department shall organize in time the follow-up environmental impact assessment of the plan, report the assessment results to the plan approving department and inform the environmental protection departments and relevant authorities. 

Article 25 The follow-up environmental impact assessment of plans shall include the following contents:
(1) The comparative analysis and evaluation between environmental impact produced after plan implementation and environmental impact predicted by the assessment document;
(2) The analysis and evaluation of the effectiveness of countermeasures and measures adopted to prevent or mitigate the adverse environmental impact;
(3) The opinions of the public on environmental impact produced by plan implementation. 
(4) The conclusion of follow-up environmental impact assessment.

Article 26 The plan development department, when conducting follow-up environmental impact assessment of plans, shall ask for opinions of related departments, experts and the public in such ways as questionnaires, field visits, workshops.
 
Article 27 Where significant adverse impacts arise during plan implementation, the plan development department shall timely put forward improvement measures, report them to the plan approving department, and inform environmental protection department and other relevant departments.
 
Article 28 Where administrative department of environmental protection find significant adverse impacts during plan implementation, it shall timely examine it. If the impact is verified, administrative department of environmental protection shall advise the plan approving department to make improvement or revision to the plan.

Article 29 The Plan approving department shall after receiving the report from plan development department or the suggestions of administrative department of environmental protection timely organize demonstrations and take measures to improve or revise the plan according to the demonstration results.
  
Article 30 Where the total discharge of major pollutants in the areas of the plan implementation exceeds the national or local total amount standard, the environmental impact assessment document of construction projects in that area which added the major pollutants amount shall be suspended for approval.

Chapter V legal Liability


Article 31 In the event the plan development department violates this ordinance and practices fraud or fails in its duty while organizing the environmental assessment, resulting in serious inconsistency with facts, the personnel directly in charge and other persons directly liable shall be subject to administrative sanction according to law.

Article 32 In the event the plan approving department is found in one of the following situations, the personnel directly in charge and other persons directly liable shall be subject to administrative sanction according to law:
(1) it gives approval to a draft comprehensive plan or draft directive plan of a special plan for which a specific division or explanation about environmental impact should be developed according to law but is actually not;
(2) it gives approval to a draft special plan for which environmental impact statement should be developed according to law but is actually not or it gives approval to a draft special plan for which environmental impact statement is not reviewed by the review group.

Article 33 In the event the convening department of review group violates this ordinance and practices fraud or fails in its duty while organizing the environmental assessment, resulting in serious inconsistency with facts, the personnel directly in charge and other persons directly liable shall be subject to administrative sanction according to law. 

In the event the specialists of the review group violate this ordinance and practice fraud or fails in its duty while reviewing the environmental assessment statements, resulting in serious inconsistency with facts, the administrative department of environmental protection responsible for establishing the specialists database shall cancel their database member qualifications and announce it to the public; representatives of related departments who were found in the above cases shall also be subject to administrative sanction according to law.

Article 34 In the event the technical institution of plan environmental impact assessment violates this ordinance and practices fraud or fails in its duty while organizing the environmental assessment, resulting in serious inconsistency with facts, the administrative department of environmental protection under the State Council shall make it public and the technical institution shall be fined more than one time and less than 3 times of the fee it received; if the act constitutes a crime, it shall be investigated for criminal responsibility according to law

Chapter VI Supplementary Provisions


Article 35 The people’s government of provinces, autonomous regions, municipalities directly under the Central Government may require environmental impact assessment on the plans developed by the people’s government at the county level under their respective jurisdiction according to the actual local situation. The specific measures for this purpose shall be formulated by the province, autonomous region or municipality directly under the Central Government according to Law of the People′s Republic of China ′ on Environmental Impact Assessment and this Ordinance. 

Article 36 The Ordinance shall come into force as of October 1st, 2009.


(This English version is for your reference only.In case any discrepancy exists between the Chinese and English context, the Chinese version shall prevail.)

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