Ozone-depleting substances targeted

Amendment to national regulation includes stiffer penalties for violations and extends coverage to hydrofluorocarbons. Hou Liqiang reports.

By Hou Liqiang | China Daily | Updated: 2024-02-22 09:23
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Editor's note: As protection of the planet's flora, fauna and resources becomes increasingly important, China Daily is publishing a series of stories to illustrate the country's commitment to safeguarding the natural world.

A vehicle equipped with water cannon is seen in Jiaozuo, Henan province, on April 11. The water cannon can disperse water into the air to control dust and reduce air pollution. CHENG QUAN/FOR CHINA DAILY

China has enhanced the management of ozone-depleting substances by amending a national regulation that allows the authorities to oversee their production and consumption.

The amendment has addressed some loopholes in ODS management, experts said, and will also help authorities enforce laws in a more targeted way.

With the amendment, China is expected to make even greater contributions to protecting the ozone layer and also reduce emissions of ODS substitutes that exacerbate global warming, they said.

Premier Li Qiang signed the amendment to the regulation earlier this year as part of China's efforts to implement the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, which China joined in 1991.

Enacted in 2010, the regulation was revised for the first time in 2018. The latest amendment included stiffer penalties for violations.

Previously, for instance, those who produced ODS without a production quota permit were subject to a penalty of 1 million yuan ($139,000). They also faced confiscation of the raw materials used in production, the finished products and the illegal gains, and the dismantling and destruction of facilities used to produce and consume ODS.

The amendment raised the fine to 5 million yuan, with the other punishments unchanged.

It also raised the maximum fine for those consuming ODS without the necessary quota permit from 500,000 yuan to 1 million yuan.

The amendment said companies that receive penalties for violating the regulation will have their misconduct included in their credit records, and the violations will be made public.

The revised regulation also added some clauses concerning incidental ODS generation, which was not covered previously.

Enterprises that generate ODS incidentally in their production process should not discharge the substances directly, the amendment said, and should instead dispose of them in an environmentally friendly manner. If they do not, they will be subject to a penalty of 100,000 yuan to 500,000 yuan, and their operations will be suspended if they fail to rectify the problem.

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