The Chinese government will review the status of environmental protection in the steel industry. On 20 September 2010, the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) issued a circular to require provincial environmental authorities to assist in their investigations. The purpose of the action is to assess the environmental performance of the steel companies and to work out improvements.
Steel companies will be divided into groups for the assessment. Provincial authorities are required to do a first review of environmental indicators and to submit results for the first group to the MEP by 15 October 2010.
After assessment by environmental experts put forward by the MEP, a list of steel companies that are qualified in environmental protection will be published by the end of November 2010.
To qualify, companies are required to meet certain steel industry general criteria. A few specific criteria are also set: waste water emission should be less than 2.0 m3/tonne of steel; dust emission should be less than 1.0 kg/tonne of steel; SO2 emission should be less than 1.8 kg/tonne of steel; emission of waste water and gas should be measured at least once a year.
From 2011, the review and assessment will be conducted twice a year (in April and October).