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Legal Update

Environmental Law - New National Hazardous Waste Catalogue

12 August 2008
Mayer Brown JSM Legal Update
Summary
 
On 6 April 2008, the National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Environmental Protection of the PRC jointly promulgated the new version of the National Hazardous Waste Catalogue which came into effect on 1 August 2008. This Client Alert highlights some of the major changes brought by this new catalogue.

Full Update
 
On 6 April 2008, the National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Environmental Protection of the PRC jointly promulgated the new version of the National Hazardous Waste Catalogue (the "2008 Catalogue") which came into effect on 1 August 2008. The hazardous waste listed in the 2008 Catalogue should be managed in accordance with the PRC's Law on Prevention and Control of Environmental Pollution by Solid Waste. The previous National Hazardous Waste Catalogue promulgated on 4 January 1998 has ceased to be of further effect.
 
The 2008 Catalogue has introduced the following main changes:
 
1.    The 2008 Catalogue adopts two major criteria in determining whether the waste concerned should be considered hazardous:
(a)  any solid or liquid waste that bears two or more of the following characteristics in nature: (i) corrosive; (ii) toxic; (iii) flammable; (iv) reactive; or (v) infectious; or
 
(b)  any solid or liquid waste, regardless of its natural properties, which is damaging to the human health or the environment.
2.    In addition to all the identified hazardous waste listed in the 2008 Catalogue, waste currently not on the list will be evaluated by experts appointed by the State Environmental Protection Authorities according to the new standards of the 2008 Catalogue and will be added to the 2008 Catalogue if appropriate.
 
3.    The 2008 Catalogue recognizes the infectious nature of certain medical waste and stipulates that such waste will be listed separately in the Medical Waste Classification Catalogue.
 
4.    The 2008 Catalogue exempts certain known hazardous waste discarded in small quantities such as those discarded during daily use, pharmaceutical products and packaged materials, insecticides, disinfectants, paint solvent and household electronics.
 

For further information, please contact:
Geoffrey Chan (  )
 
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