SEA Practices in Mainland China

The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Law of the People’s Republic of China has come into force since 1 September 2003, setting out the statutory requirements for EIA of plans and construction projects; and the legal liability in the EIA process.

Under the Ordinance, environmental assessments have to be conducted for land-use planning, regional planning, and certain sectoral plans such as industry, agriculture, energy and transport during their planning stages. Those projects without environmental assessments could no longer obtain authorities’ approval. For projects with significant potential environmental impacts, public comments have to be consolidated with public hearings before submitting environmental assessment reports to the relevant authorities for approval.

Administrative regulations / guidance on Planning EIA includes the Measures for Approval of Specific Planning EIA Reports (專項規劃環境影響報告書審查法) and the Technical Guidelines for Planning EIA (on Trail) HJ/T130-2003 (規劃環境影響評價技術導則 - 試行), which have been promulgated by the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) in 2003.

Based on The EIA Law of the People's Republic of China, the Plan Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations went into effect on 1 October 2009. The Regulations aim at strengthening the work and scientific process of EIA for plans. This can prevent environmental pollution and damage from the source, and co-ordinate the economic, social and environmental efforts to achieve sustainable development.