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Laws, Policies, & Guidelines

Environmental Impact Assessment Law of the People's Republic of China

Scope of Application

Legal requirements for environmental impact assessments (EIAs) under Chinese jurisdiction.


Offers legal measures to reduce pollution during project implementation and operations and to promote the coordinated development of the economy, society, and the environment.

Key Points on Environmental and Social Impact Assessment

Chinese Environmental Protection Departments must: 

  • Examine and approve EIA documents for the following types of construction projects:
    • Projects of a special nature, such as nuclear institutions and most confidential projects.
    • Projects spanning multiple regions.
    • Projects subject to examination and approval by the State Council or a department authorized by the State Council.
  • Hold demonstration meetings or hearings and elicit the opinions of relevant units, specialists, and the public if plans could damage the environment and harm the rights and interests of the public before examining and approving reports.
    • Specify reasons for accepting or rejecting comments and suggestions in reports.
  • Call an "examination group" of specialists randomly selected from a preapproved list to examine the report.
  • Decide on each project's environmental impacts and relevant opinions after examination.
  • Submit construction plans with a specific chapter on the analysis of environmental impacts, prediction and assessment of the possible environmental impacts, and mitigation measures for approval by government departments.
  • Include projects in a database and an index system for evaluation of environmental impacts by other departments.


Local Governments must: 

  • Evaluate each project's environmental impacts.
  • Submit written reports, which should include analysis, assessment of potential environmental impacts, mitigation measures, and conclusions, to the authorities for review and approval.


Developers and Contractors must:

  • Prepare a written EIA report covering the following issues:
    • The existing environment.
    • An analysis, prediction, and assessment of potential environmental impacts.
    • Technical and economic information about protective environmental measures.
    • An economic-environmental cost-benefit analysis.
    • A monitoring proposal.
    • A concluding evaluation.
  • Submit a new EIA document for approval if major changes occur to each project's scale, environmental impacts, or mitigation measures.
Applies to
October 2002
Standing Committee of the National People's Congress
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