Title: Measures on Public Participation in Environmental Protection
Promulgating Entities: Ministry of Environmental Protection
Reference number: Order of the Ministry of Environmental Protection No. 35
Promulgation Date: 2015-7-13
Source of text: http://www.mep.gov.cn/gkml/hbb/bl/201507/t20150720_306928.htm
Measures on Public Participation in Environmental Protection
Article 1: These Measures are formulated on the basis of the "Environmental Protection Law" and other relevant laws and regulations, so as to ensure the rights of citizens, legal persons, and other organizations to receive environmental information, participate in and supervise environmental protection, clear channels for participation, and promote the lawful and orderly development of public participation in environmental protection.
Article 2: These measures apply to citizens, legal persons, and other organizations participation in public affairs activities in environmental protection such as formulating policies, laws and regulations; carrying out administrative permits or administrative punishments; supervising illegal activity; and launching publicity and education.
Article 3: Public participation in envrionmental protection shall follow the principles of being lawful, orderly, voluntary and convenient.
Article 4: Competent department of environmental protection may use methods such as soliciting comments, questionnaire surveys, and organizing and hosting symposium, evidentiary debate hearings, and hearings, to solicit citizens, legal persons, and other organizations' comments and suggestions on the affairs and activities relevant to envrionmental protection.
Citizens, legal persons, and other organizations may submit comments and suggestions to the competent department of environmental protection through means such as telephone, letter or internet.
Article 5: When competent department of environmental protection solicit opinions from citizens, legal persons, and other organizations, they shall announce the following information:
(1) Background materials on the relevant matters of activities;
(2) The starting and ending times for solicitation of opinions;
(3) The method for the public to submit opinions and suggestions;
(4) Contact information for the contact department.
Citizens, legal persons, and other organizations shall submit opinions and suggestions in writing during the period for solicitation of comments.
Article 6: Where competent departments of environmental protection organize a questionnaire survey to solicit comments, they shall explain the basic situation of the relevant matter. Questions posed by questionnaires shall be and the questions should be simple and clear and easy to understand. The number and scope of survey subjects shall be determined on the basis of a comprehensive consideration of the scope and extent of the environmental impact, the degree of social concern, the amount of personnel and material necessary to organize the public participation and other factors.
Article 7: Where competent departments of environmental protection organize and convene symposia or expert discussion meetings to solicit opinions, they shall inform participants of the time, place, agenda, schedule and other such matters in advance, and when necessary, may make a public announcement through channels such as government websites or principle media.
Participants attending experts' evidentiary meetings shall be primarily experts in relevant professional fields and professionals from environmental protection social organizations, and at the same time, representatives of citizens, legal persons, and other organizations who might suffer direct impact from the relevant matter, shall be invited.
Article 8: For matters that laws or regulations provide shall have a hearing, competent departments of environmental protection shall make a public announcement and hold a hearing.
competent departments of environmental protection organizing hearings shall abide by the principles of openness, fairness, justness, and convenience to the people; fully hearing the opinions of citizens, legal persons, and other organizations, and ensuring their rights to express opinions, debate evidence and argue one's case.
Hearings shall be conducted openly except where they touch on state secrets, commercial secrets or personal privacy.
Article 9: Competent departments of environmental protection shall conduct classification management and analytic research on comments and suggestions submitted by citizens, legal persons, and other organizations; and fully consider them when making environmental policy decisions and give feedback to the citizens, legal persons, and other organizations in an appropriate manner.
Article 10: Competent department of environmental protection support and encourage citizens, legal persons, and other organizations carrying out public opinion supervision and social supervision of environmental protection public affairs.
Article 11: Where citizens, legal persons, and other organizations discover that any unit or individual has conduct polluting the environment or destroying the ecology, they may make a report to the competent department of environmental protection by letter, fax, email, the "12369" environmental report hotline, government websites or other means.
Article 12: Where citizens, legal persons, and other organizations discover that local people's governments of any level, or competent departments of environmental protection at the county level or above, have not performed their duties in accordance with law, they have the right to make a report to the organ at the level above or the supervisory organ.
Article 13: Competent departments of environmental protection receiving reports shall follow the relevant laws and regulations to investigate and verify the facts in the report, and notify the informant of the of the investigation and handling.
Article 14: Competent departments of environmental protection receiving reports shall preserve the confidentiality of the infomants' information and protect the lawful rights and interests of the informant.
Article 15: Awards are given in accordance with law to units and individuals that have conspicuous achievements in protecting and improving the environment.
The State encourages competent departments of environmental protection at the county level or above to drive relevant departments to establish a special fund for rewarding informants.
Article 16: Competent department of environmental protection may support social organizations that meet the legally prescribed requirements in lawfully initiating environmental public interest litigation by providing legal consultation, written opinions, assistance in the examination and collection of evidence or other means.
Article 17: Competent departments of environmental protection shall strengthen publicity and education efforts within the scope of their duties, popularizing knowledge of environmental science, strengthening public environmental awareness, conservation awareness, conscientiously practicing green lifestyles, green consumption, and forming low carbon, environmentally friendly social habits.
Article 18: Competent department of environmental protection may use methods such as funding or purchasing services to support and guide social organizations participation in environmental protection activities.
Article 19: Where laws and regulations or other department rules formulated by the Ministry of Environmental Protection otherwise provide for public participation in environmental protection, follow those provisions.
Article 20: These measures will take effect on September 1, 2015.