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Effective from June 1st! 11 types of environmental violations that enterprises may not be punished for correcting during the law enforcement observation period


Time:

2024-06-13

Effective from June 1st! 11 types of environmental violations that enterprises may not be punished for correcting during the law enforcement observation period.

The Ecological Environment Law Enforcement Observation Period Work System (Trial) of Foshan City, Guangdong Province (hereinafter referred to as the "System") is organized and formulated by the Foshan Ecological Environment Bureau to further optimize administrative law enforcement methods, promote inclusive and prudent supervision, optimize the business environment, and help achieve high-quality economic development. The system will be implemented from June 1, 2024.

Firstly, optimizing administrative law enforcement methods to improve the efficiency of law enforcement supervision

The staff of Foshan Ecological Environment Bureau stated that the implementation of the law enforcement observation period work system is to solve prominent problems in administrative law enforcement. In recent years, Foshan City has continuously strengthened the standardization construction of ecological environment administrative law enforcement, and the law enforcement capacity and level have been greatly improved. However, there are still problems such as mechanical law enforcement and unreasonable punishment.
The law enforcement observation period reflects the comprehensive implementation of the Administrative Penalty Law, and is a comprehensive reflection of the principles of reasonableness, proportionality of excessive punishment, and the combination of punishment and education. It conforms to the concept of inclusive and prudent law enforcement.

The law enforcement officers of the Ecological Environment Bureau of Foshan City introduced that the law enforcement observation period work system is also a manifestation of further optimizing administrative law enforcement methods and improving law enforcement efficiency, which is in line with the guidance of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment on optimizing law enforcement methods and improving law enforcement efficiency, as well as the guidance of the provincial government to promote inclusive and prudent supervision, and the notice of the Guangdong Provincial Department of Ecology and Environment on issuing the "Twelve Measures to Deeply Optimize Ecological Environment Law Enforcement Methods to Help Stabilize the Economy" and other documents.
Starting from 2023, the Ecological Environment Bureau of Foshan City has been exploring the law enforcement observation period work system in accordance with the deployment of the Guangdong Provincial Department of Ecology and Environment. For industry enterprises, small and medium-sized enterprises, and individual businesses included in the provincial strategic pillar industry cluster and strategic emerging industry cluster, 11 types of environmental illegal behaviors have been sorted out. When the illegal behavior of the counterpart meets the established conditions of minor circumstances, no damage consequences, or minor damage consequences, a reasonable rectification time limit will be given to the enterprise based on the type of illegal behavior. If the enterprise completes the rectification and eliminates pollution on time, no punishment will be imposed. Enterprises that refuse to rectify or have poor rectification results will continue to be punished.

To ensure the fairness of law enforcement, avoid phenomena such as lax enforcement, arbitrary relaxation of punishment standards, and even transfer of benefits, when formulating the observation period, 11 types of non subjective malicious and minor illegal behaviors were clearly defined in the form of a list, and the applicable standards were further refined. If it is required to be consistent with the applicable standards in the list, the observation period must be applied, and if it is inconsistent, the observation period cannot be applied. At the same time, in the process of handling cases, it is required that regardless of the size of the case, it must undergo legal review and collective deliberation by the unit before implementation, which enhances the standardization of law enforcement.


Secondly, guide enterprises to take the initiative to correct and ensure that penalties are legal and reasonable.

The "System" first clarifies the scope of application of the observation period system, which is to provide an appropriate period of law enforcement observation for ecological and environmental violations that could have been subject to administrative punishment. If the parties correct their illegal behavior during the law enforcement observation period, complete the rectification, and after verification, they have been rectified as required, they may not be punished in accordance with the law after collective review and approval.
Secondly, it is necessary to clarify the applicable principles and objects, follow the policy of balancing leniency and strictness in the law enforcement observation period, implement the spirit of inclusive and prudent supervision, encourage and guide enterprises to correct their illegal behaviors in a timely manner, promote the fulfillment of their main responsibilities, and guide enterprises to consciously abide by the law. The objects are industry enterprises, small and medium-sized enterprises or individual businesses included in the strategic pillar industry clusters and strategic emerging industry clusters of the provincial people's government, as well as enterprises that voluntarily applied for and were rated as "green cards" in the previous year's municipal environmental credit evaluation.

The 03 System specifies the applicable conditions, which need to meet the conditions of being the first violation within the past year, with minor harmful consequences, active cooperation of the parties involved in the investigation, correction of illegal behavior during the law enforcement observation period, and verification that the rectification has been completed as required. 11 conditions for the applicable observation period for illegal behavior are listed in the attachment.

For example, in the field of construction project management, if there is an illegal situation where the environmental protection facilities that need to be constructed have not been inspected and the construction project is put into production or use, it must also meet the first violation; The construction project belongs to the category of preparing an environmental impact assessment form and has obtained environmental impact assessment approval. It has been equipped with pollution control facilities in accordance with or stricter than the requirements of the environmental impact assessment; During on-site inspection, the pollution control facilities were operating normally; The law enforcement observation period can only be applied if the acceptance, dismantling of main production equipment, or relocation are completed within the prescribed rectification period. The law enforcement observation period is within 60 days.

The attachment also lists situations where the observation period is not applicable, such as those that have already applied the apology commitment system, minor non punishment, first violation non punishment, or law enforcement observation period system; If there are situations such as transferring, concealing, using, damaging, or selling illegally sealed or seized facilities or equipment, or tearing seals without authorization, the law enforcement observation period cannot be applied.

The relevant person in charge of the Ecological Environment Bureau of Foshan City stated that by introducing a law enforcement observation period work system, enterprises have faced their own environmental problems and illegal mistakes, actively corrected their illegal behavior, fulfilled their main responsibility in pollution prevention and control, invested the amount of fines that should have been paid into pollution control, achieved good environmental benefits, and promoted ecological environment law enforcement with both strength and warmth. At the same time, based on the principle of comprehensive discretion and with legal review and collective deliberation as procedural safeguards, we ensure that administrative penalties are both legal and reasonable, and establish a law enforcement model of "one reminder, two warnings, and three penalties".

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