On September 20, 2019, the Ministry of Ecology and Environment issued the Measures for the Supervision and Administration of the Preparation of Environmental Impact Report (Reforms) on Construction Projects (the “Measures”), which will go into effect on November 1, 2019, while the Measures for the Administration of Environmental Impact Assessment of Construction Projects (Order No. 36, Ministry of Environmental Protection) promulgated by the former Ministry of Environmental Protection on September 28, 2015, and the Announcement on Related Work Requirements After the Cancellation of Qualitative Administrative Approval Items in the Environmental Impact Assessment for Construction Projects issued by the Ministry of Ecology and Environment (Announcement No. 2 of 2019 from the Ministry of Ecology and Environment) on January 19, 2019, will be repealed. The Measures are highlighted as follows:
1. Preparation entities
A construction entity may commission a technical entity to conduct an environmental impact assessment of its construction project and prepare an environmental impact report (form); it may conduct the assessment on its own if it has the technical capability to do so. If a construction entity commissions a technical entity to prepare the environmental impact report (form), the construction entity shall enter into a retainer contract with the technical entity in charge to stipulate the rights and obligations of the parties and the fees. The preparation entity shall have the technical capabilities to conduct the environmental impact assessment and shall set up a sound internal control system. In addition, the preparation entity shall be an entity capable of independently assuming its legal responsibilities, and it may not be in any relationship of interest with an ecological and environmental authority or any other department relating to the approval of the reports (forms).
2. Preparation personnel
For the purpose of the Measures, preparation personnel refers to the head editor of the report (form) and the main preparation team. The head editor is the person in charge of the preparation of the environmental impact report (form), and the main preparation team members include the authors of the various chapters and sections of the environmental impact report and the main contents. The head editor or main preparation team members of any environmental impact report (form) shall be full-time employees of the preparation entity, and the head editor shall also possess a professional license as an environmental impact assessment engineer. The environmental impact report (form) shall be prepared by a single entity, with a single individual as the head editor.
3. Supervision and inspection
The supervision and inspection of environmental impact reports (forms) include the regulatory and quality inspections of the preparation process, as well as the inspection of the preparation entity and its personnel. In handling environmental impact reports (forms), all levels of ecological and environmental authority shall conduct regulatory inspections and quality inspections of the environmental impact reports (forms) as submitted for approval. The Ministry of Ecology and Environment shall check the status of the preparation entities and its personnel from time to time through random spot checks, depending on actual work needs.
4. Credit evaluation
The ecological and environmental authorities above the municipal level shall include preparation entities and their personnel for credit administration as applicable targets of environmental impact assessment credit administration (the “Credit Administration Targets”). In supervising and inspecting the preparation of environmental impact reports (forms), if the Credit Administration Targets are found be engaging in conduct that loses credit, their loss of credit score shall be noted accordingly. The Ministry of Ecology and Environment shall separately formulate measures for scoring untrustworthy behavior of the Credit Administration Targets to set out the credit scoring rules, cycles, warnings and thresholds of the Credit Administration Targets.