China: 建设项目生态环境行政处罚有关问题研究

Last Updated: 28 March 2019
Article by DeHeng Law Offices
Most Read Contributor in China, August 2019

习近平同志在十九大报告中指出,加快生态文明体制改革,建设美丽中国;人与自然是生命共同体,人类必须尊重自然、顺应自然、保护自然;更是前所未有地提出"像对待生命一样对待生态环境"等理念。

生态环境建设被提到前所未有的高度,在此背景下,建设项目生态环境执法力度不断深入和加强。但同时由于相关法律规定尚待完善、新旧法交替且变化幅度较大,该类案件在实践层面还存在一些较大争议。

一、问题的提出

A公司成立于2016年7月12日,注册资本壹仟万圆整。经营范围为品牌汽车及配件、工程机械、办公设备销售;机动车维修等。

2016年7月22日A 公司与B公司分别签订《土地租赁合同》《房屋租赁合同》,B公司将C市南岗区C路南天津路西15号厂房出租给A公司用作奔驰汽车的销售与维修。

2010年B公司向C市环境保护局报送《广汽汽车维修服务站项目环境影响评价报告表》,2010年10月27日C市环境保护局作出《关于"广汽汽车维修服务站项目环境影响评价报告表"的批复》,明确要求该项目必须严格执行环境保护"三同时"制度,落实环评文件中各项污染防治措施。项目投入试运营之日起三个月内,必须向C市环境保护局申报环保竣工验收,验收合格后方可投入使用。B公司未申请环保竣工验收,A公司自2016年7月22日租赁经营以来也未申请验收,对于配套建设的环境保护设施未申请验收,A公司持续投入使用至今。

C市环境保护局经过调查,依据《建设项目环境保护管理条例》第9条、第15条、第23条等规定,以A公司未对相应环保设施进行验收为由作出行政处罚。

该案件在处罚过程中、复议过程中,存在比较大的争议和分歧。

第一种观点:涉案工程的建设单位、项目的所有权人是B公司,应当处罚B公司。

第二种观点:B公司虽然是项目的建设单位和所有权人,但其不是实际经营者,不应当处罚B公司。

第三种观点:A公司是项目的实际经营者,也是污染行为的实施者,其有义务完成项目配套环保设施的验收,应当处罚A公司。

第四种观点:A公司是租赁B公司的土地和厂房,《关于"广汽汽车维修服务站项目环境影响评价报告表"的批复》批复对象是B公司,完成环保设施"三同时"及验收的义务主体应当是B公司。

第五种观点:A公司是新项目的建设单位,其有义务完成环评和环保设施的"三同时"及验收义务。

二、我国建设项目生态环境行政法制度框架

自2014年以来,立法部门及环保主管部门陆续制定或修订了相应的法律、法规和部门规章,其中较为重要的几项规定如下: 《中华人民共和国环境保护法》《中华人民共和国环境影响评价法》《建设项目环境保护管理条例》、《建设项目环境影响评价分类管理名录》

在新环保法及配套法律法规规制之下,建设项目生态环境行政法制度框架内容如下:

(一)对建设项目的环境影响评价实行分类管理

国家根据建设项目对环境的影响程度,对建设项目的环境影响评价实行分类管理。可能造成重大环境影响的,应当编制环境影响报告书;可能造成轻度环境影响的,应当编制环境影响报告表;对环境影响很小,应当填报环境影响登记表。《建设项目环境影响评价分类管理名录》根据建设项目特征和所在区域,对建设项目的环境影响评价分为五十大类别192个小类。

(二)项目建设前需进行环评审批

依法应当编制环境影响报告书、环境影响报告表的建设项目,建设单位应当在开工建设前将环境影响报告书、环境影响报告表报有审批权的环境保护行政主管部门审批;依法应当填报环境影响登记表的建设项目,建设单位应当按照国务院环境保护行政主管部门的规定将环境影响登记表报建设项目所在地县级环境保护行政主管部门备案。

(三)重大变动等原因,重新报批制度

首先,需要按照环评批复等进行建设,如果在建设项目过程中建设项目的性质、规模、地点、采用的生产工艺或防治污染、防止生态破坏的措施发生重大变动的,建设单位应当重新报批建设项目环境影响报告书、环境影响报告表。其次,如果项目的环评文件自批准之日超过五年,建设项目方决定开工建设的,其环评文件应当报原审批部门重新审核。

(四)环境保护设施"三同时"及验收制度 

建设项目需要配套建设的环境保护设施,必须与主体工程同时设计、同时施工、同时投产使用。配套的环境保护设施为经验收或验收不合格的,不得投入生产或使用。上述案例即是因为此项制度而引发。

(五)建设单位后评价及生态环境行政主管部门跟踪检查制度

编制环境影响报告书、环境影响报告表的建设项目投入生产或者使用后,建设单位应当按照开展环境影响后评价;生态环境行政主管部门应当进行跟踪检查。除此之外,有的项目还需申请排污许可等。

三、剥茧抽丝――解决问题

(一)问题总结和答案

第一部分案例是相关企业违反配套环保"三同时"及验收制度引起的行政处罚,几种观点都是从不同角度予以阐述。但通过梳理归纳,分歧争议的根源是:建设项目、建设单位界定不清;《中华人民共和国环境保护法》等生态环境法律中的建设项目、建设单位与《中华人民共和国建筑法》、《建设工程质量管理条例》中的建设单位和项目(或工程)是什么关系?

建设单位是相对于建设项目而言的,何为建设项目明确了,建设单位的确定问题也就迎刃而解了。在 《中华人民共和国环境保护法》《中华人民共和国环境影响评价法》《建设项目环境保护管理条例》没有对建设项目、建设单位作出明确的界定; 《中华人民共和国建筑法》、《建设工程质量管理条例》中仅有类似概念。 《建筑法》第二条"......本法所称建筑活动,是指各类房屋建筑及其附属设施的建造和与其配套的线路、管道、设备的安装活动。" 《建设工程质量管理条例》第二条"......本条例所称建设工程,是指土木工程、建筑工程、线路管道和设备安装工程及装修工程。"

根据《建设项目环境保护管理条例》、《建设项目环境影响评价分类管理名录》(以下简称"名录")中的通读和分析,虽然没有对何为建设项目下定义,但是"名录"按照行业进行划分和详细列举的,可以明确建设项目肯定不应仅理解为传统概念里的土建工程,同时应当包括在原有建筑物、厂房的基础上新设生产线、生产线改建或扩建等对环境有影响的项目。而这些建设项目均应当按照现行有效的法律法规履行相应的环保审批、备案程序。

(二)结合答案分析案例,没有履行环保设施"三同时"及验收义务,行政处罚可能存在四种情形。

1.B公司报送《广汽汽车维修服务站项目环境影响评价报告表》并获得批复,建设完成自己使用。如果没有履行配套环保设施"三同时"及验收义务,就应当处罚B公司。此时建设项目、建设单位和土建工程及其建设单位是重合的。

2.B公司报送《广汽汽车维修服务站项目环境影响评价报告表》并获得批复。建设完成后,将土地和厂房租赁给A公司从事造纸行业,那么造纸就是一个新的项目,需要重新进行环评、环保设施"三同时"及验收等手续。否则,应当处罚A公司。此时,建设项目跟土建工程没有关系。

3.B公司报送《广汽汽车维修服务站项目环境影响评价报告表》并获得批复,将土地和厂房租赁给A公司从事与环评报告表完全相同的经营内容;A公司进行了改建和扩建或采用的生产工艺、防治污染、防止生态破坏的措施发生重大变动,A公司需要重新进行环评、环保设施"三同时"及验收等手续。否则,应当处罚A公司。此时,建设项目跟土建工程没有关系。

4.B公司报送《广汽汽车维修服务站项目环境影响评价报告表》并获得批复,建设结束后,将土地和厂房租赁给A公司从事与环评报告表完全相同的经营内容,A公司没有改建和扩建或采用的生产工艺、防治污染、防止生态破坏的措施也没有发生变化。因为未履行"三同时"及及验收要求,此时应该处罚A公司还是B公司存在较大分歧。

笔者认为,此时应该处罚B公司,配套环保设施"三同时"是依附于《环境影响评价报告表》,而B公司在没有落实配套环保设施"三同时"的情况下将厂房出租给别人从事与环评报告表完全相同的经营内容,属于《建设项目环境保护管理条例》第19条、第23条中的"使用";与此同时,A公司没有任何的改建、扩建、工艺等改变,《环境影响评价报告表》的批复对象是B 公司,其无法以自己名义完成配套环保设施"三同时"及验收。也有观点认为,只要经营者发生了变化,就应当理解为新的项目,应该处罚A公司。

结 论

建设项目生态环境行政处罚的问题是跨领域的问题,至少涉及建筑工程法律服务、行政法律服务两个领域,该正好也是笔者的执业范围。笔者结合最新政策法规等,对若干实务问题进行总结分析,形成文章,抛砖引玉;并希望对相关企业、行政机关等有所裨益。

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