Brief Report of CBCGDF Suing Qinhuangdao Fangyuan Packaging Glass Co., Ltd. for polluting the atmospheric environment
2023/6/29 17:51:00 本站

Qinhuangdao Fangyuan Packaging Glass Co., Ltd. (Fangyuan Company) was mainly engaged in the production of various glass packaging bottles, with four glass kilns. In the production process, the Environmental Protection Bureau of Haigang District, Qinhuangdao City had repeatedly imposed administrative penalties for its excessive pollution discharge.

In 2016, the China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation (CBCGDF) filed an environmental public interest lawsuit against Fangyuan Company, which accelerated the process of denitration, desulfurization and dust removal transformation. On June 15, 2016, Fangyuan Company passed the environmental protection acceptance by the Environmental Protection Bureau of Haigang District. On July 22, 2016, CBCGDF organized a group of experts to conduct an inspection of the operation status of the denitrification, desulfurization, and dust removal equipment of Fangyuan Company, and put forward relevant suggestions. On June 17, 2016 and 2017, the environmental protection department issued the "Hebei Province Pollutant Discharge License" to Fangyuan Company. On December 2, 2016, Fangyuan Company invested 19.65 million yuan again to install another set of backup equipment for denitrification, desulfurization, and dust removal for its four kilns.

Fangyuan Company paid an administrative fine of 80000 yuan on March 18, 2015. After the CBCGDF filed the public interest lawsuit in 2016, Fangyuan Company paid a total of 12.81 million yuan of administrative fines from April 13, 2016 to November 23, 2016.

On July 25, 2017, CBCGDF submitted a "Request for Litigation and Evidence Explanation" to the court, confirming that the period of damage caused to the environment by Fangyuan Company's illegal discharge of atmospheric pollutants was from the time of administrative penalty determination of damage until the environmental protection department's acceptance was qualified. The court commissioned the Environmental Risk and Damage Assessment Research Center of the Environmental Planning Institute of the Ministry of Environmental Protection to conduct an assessment of the amount of damage caused to the environment by Fangyuan Company due to the discharge of atmospheric pollutants and the cost of taking alternative remediation measures to repair the polluted atmospheric environment.

In November 2017, the appraisal agency issued the "Opinions on Environmental Damage Assessment of Air Pollutant Exceeding Emission Standards by Fangyuan Company". According to the virtual cost method, the total amount of particulate matter exceeding the standards emitted by Fangyuan Company during the appraisal period was about 2.06 tons, the total amount of sulfur dioxide exceeding the standards was about 33.45 tons, and the total amount of nitrogen oxide exceeding the standards was about 75.33 tons. The Qinhuangdao area where Fangyuan Company is located is classified as Air Function Zone II. According to regulations, the amount of ecological damage in this kind of area of ambient air is 3-5 times the cost of virtual assesment. So the amount of damage caused to the atmospheric environment is calculated to be about 7400 yuan, 27100 yuan, and 1271200 yuan, respectively, based on the three-times regulation, totaling about 1.55 million yuan.

This case was identified as "China's Top Ten Influential Litigations" in 2018 and Top Ten Typical Cases of Ecological Environment Protection in People's Courts. This case is the first public interest lawsuit on air pollution in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region. This case actively explored the operation mode of the special fund account for public interest litigation, ensuring that environmental damage compensation is used for the reservation of damaged environments. By this public interest litigation, Fangyuan Company actively paid administrative fines, upgraded and renovated environmental protection facilities. At the same time, this case also played an important role in promoting enterprises to actively assume social responsibility for ecological conservation and environmental protection and adopt green production methods, with a good social orientation. The trial and public announcement of this case have an important demonstration effect on judicial services to ensure environmental governance and economic and social development, and will play a positive role in promoting the prevention and control of air pollution and the construction of regional ecological civilization in the Beijing Tianjin Hebei and surrounding areas.

Editor: Richard

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