Lingang promotes efficiency in environmental management

Ke Jiayun
New guidelines in the area will simplify procedures on impact assessment for projects with limited influence to the environment.
Ke Jiayun

A new guideline on environmental management of the Lingang Special Area of the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone will take effect starting from July 1, the local ecology and environment bureau announced on Thursday.

It will simplify procedures on environmental impact assessment for projects with limited influence on the environment.

Currently, there are three ways to do environmental impact assessment. Projects with little environmental impact are only required to provide an environmental impact registration form, while those having impact on the environment but cause no pollution need to give an environmental impact report form to explain the impact.

For those causing pollution to the environment, they should hand in a detailed environmental impact report about the pollutants they may release into the environment and how they will be dealt with.

According to the bureau, projects in this region at the level of environmental impact registration can be freed from the other procedures of environmental impact assessment, along with those at environmental impact report form level from industries like manufacturing, telecommunication, social service and urban infrastructure construction.

Meanwhile, new projects' environmental impact assessment and application for sewage discharge permission can be done at the same time with one set of documents and one form, which will help save time and improve efficiency.

Part of those that used to require an environmental impact report, but will do less harm to the environment with controllable risk, can just provide an environmental impact report form.

If the amount of the major pollutant discharged is under 0.5 tons a year, then the enterprise has no need to give explanation about the source of the pollutant.

Those on the national or city's major and important project list can have the publicity and review of their technology assessment and environmental impact assessment run in parallel, and the time the two take will be halved.

The bureau also plans to promote the environment-related data sharing, set up codes for relevant industries on environmental protection and support the construction of environmental infrastructure such as sewage treatment plant and solid waste treatment facilities.

A credit appraisal system will be established and improved as well. For enterprises with good credit, the bureau will enhance its guidance and services with less times of supervision and execution. But for those with bad credit and more public complaints, there will be more supervision and execution. The supervision on third-party service agency will also be strengthened.

After the guideline is implemented, nearly 60 percent of the projects at the Lingang Special Area can have their time spent on environmental impact assessment be largely shortened and be freed from some other procedures.

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