By Lily Hou, PhD., CHMM
The Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) of China issued the Catalogue of Priority Hazardous Chemicals for Environmental Management under MEP Notice No. 33 on April 4, 2014. The Catalogue was developed to facilitate the implementation of the Measures for the Registration of Hazardous Chemicals for Environmental Management (MEP Order No. 22) that entered into force in March 2013. The chemicals in the Catalogue are chosen on the basis of their hazard properties and their environmental risk levels.
According to the Measures, companies engaged in production and use of hazardous chemicals shall register and obtain a registration certificate for environmental management. For chemicals listed in the Catalogue, the registration certificate shall be approved and issued by the environmental protection departments at the provincial level, while registration of all other hazardous chemicals shall be approved by the environmental protection departments at the municipal level.
In addition, companies producing or using chemicals in the Catalogue are subject to the following requirements:
- The companies shall entrust an agency with qualifications for performing environmental impact assessment and preparing the environmental risk assessment report. The assessment report shall be submitted as part of the registration dossier.
- After having acquired the registration certificate, the companies shall complete the Release and Transfer Report as well as the Environmental Risk Management Plans. The documents shall be submitted to the environmental protection department at the county level before January 31 of each year.
MEP Notice No. 33 of 2014 containing the Catalogue of Priority Hazardous Chemicals for Environmental Management is available from the MEP website: http://www.mep.gov.cn/gkml/hbb/bgt/201404/t20140409_270296.htm
For detailed requirements on the hazardous chemicals for environmental management, please refer to the Measures for the Registration of Hazardous Chemicals for Environmental Management in Chinese from the MEP website: http://www.mep.gov.cn/gkml/hbb/bl/201210/t20121016_238481.htm . [An unofficial English translation provided by Greenpeace is available from the US EPA website for reference only: http://www.epa.gov/ogc/china/measures.pdf .]