The new pesticide production effluent standard will be mandatory for all domestic Chinese pesticide producers and water treatment companies.
Criterion for the emission limit per unit of output have been established;
On 10 Feb 2017, China MEP published the draft of “Effluent Standards for Pollutants for Pesticide Industry” for consultation until 26 Mar 2016. The draft specifies the names, determination methods and emission limits of general and typical pollutants to be monitored and controlled during pesticide production and wastewater treatment, as well as the emission limit per unit of output for the production of specific pesticides.
The standard will be mandatory for all pesticide manufacturing, formulating companies, environmental protection and waste water enterprises involved in emission and treatment of wastewater from pesticide industry. The scope of the proposed regulation includes:
- Industrial emission from the existing production and processing facilities;
- Environmental Impact Appraisal, the construction of environmental protection facilities and the Environmental Protection Acceptance of new and rebuilt facilities;
- The criterion can also be used to calculate the environment load of the production companies during the application and issuing of pollutant discharge permit;
Universal Indicators and Emission Limits Applicable to all Companies
Chromaticity (dilution ratio)
ammonia nitrogen (mg/L)
total nitrogen (mg/L)
total phosphorus (mg/L)
Total salt content (mg/L)
Typical pollutants/indicator for specific pesticides
Considering the chemicals and pollutants involved in pesticide production, the draft provided a normative list in annex A, which specific typical pollutants for each active ingredient and emission limits for these pollutants.
*Solvents refers to benzene, toluene, dimethylbenzene, ethylbenzene, DMF and naphthalene involved into the production;
Integrated toxicity indicator
The standard defines the acute toxicity to zebrafish, daphnia magna, Selenastrum capricormutum and luminous bacteria integrated toxicity indicator. The integrated toxicity indicator itself will not serve as the criterion to assess environmental violations, however if the measured toxicity is greater than the specification, the monitoring frequency will be elevated. If three consecutive disqualifications were found while other pollutants were measured within the allowable limits, detailed toxicity analysis on the emission will be initiated. Based on the result, the company would be required to take more effective measures to reduce the toxicity.
Integrated Toxicity Indicators
inhibition ≤ 10%
inhibition ≤ 5%
Inhibition ≤ 10%
Emission limit per unit of output
Pollutant limits were sidestepped by industry through water dilution before final emission, which was a “cost-effective” loophole widely adopted by Chinese pesticide and chemical producers in the past. The draft establishes the emission limit per unit of output for each pesticide and method of calculating total emission.
Balancing Continued Sector Growth with Environmental Reforms
Chinese pesticide producers are hallmarked by high productivity but low profitability. The increasing cost of environmental regulations is now beginning to have a negative impact of China’s pesticide industry. Based on the worsening situation MEP is soliciting opinion from other government departments, the CCPIA and named 75 domestic pesticide companies to get feedback and advice on developing new regulatory and administrative strategies aimed at balancing continued economic and industry growth with environmental reforms.
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