The problem of excessive emissions caused by insufficient water inflow has become one of the important bottlenecks restricting the long-term healthy development of China’s urban sewage treatment industry. In the face of the environmental supervision department’s fines, sewage treatment plants often feel “very embarrassed”. Even if they finally pay the fines, if they fail to fundamentally rationalize the rights and responsibilities of the parties and propose reasonable and feasible solutions, the question mark in the enterprise’s mind will be difficult to pull. straight. The author believes that the root cause of this problem lies in the lack of multi-method concept and contract spirit.
On the one hand, the rule of law of some local governments and enterprises is not strong. Some companies believe that they can be legally bound or exempt from liability if they have signed relevant agreements with the government. For example, a disclaimer agreement signed by a sewage treatment enterprise in Wuhan and the government wrote that “the company does not bear economic responsibility because the water quality exceeds the standard and the water exceeds the standard.” For another example, there is a similar agreement in the agreement signed between Mengzhou Urban Sewage Treatment Co., Ltd. and the Municipal Industrial Cluster Management Committee: “In the operation period, if the following influent water quality does not meet the standards, the sewage treatment plant will not operate normally. Although the project company has tried its best to take measures to prevent the effluent water quality from reaching the standard, Party B will not be liable and will not affect Party B’s collection of sewage treatment service fees in accordance with the agreement. However, the current law does not stipulate exceptions that can be exempted from punishment. The excuses are excused, and the above agreement is only a contractual act and is not binding on administrative penalties.
On the other hand, the contractual spirit of some industrial enterprises is lacking. Urban sewage treatment should provide public services related to people’s livelihood, but in some places, industrial wastewater is also included in the urban sewage system for treatment. This is one of the key incentives for the influent water volume to be overloaded and the water pollution concentration to rise. An important reason for the excessive discharge of the sewage discharge in Mengzhou City is that some industrial enterprises have not complied with the contract and caused problems in water intake.
Based on the above analysis, it is not difficult to find that the key to restricting the long-term healthy development of the sewage treatment market, which is caused by the failure of the influent water to reach the standard, is to start with the concept of legislation and compliance with the spirit of the contract.
The concept of legislation is to ensure that the content of the agreement does not violate existing laws and regulations. Article 50 of the Law on the Prevention and Control of Water Pollution clearly stipulates that: “The operating unit of urban sewage centralized treatment facilities shall be responsible for the effluent quality of urban sewage centralized treatment facilities.” This means that once the urban sewage treatment plant accepts sewage, it must According to the law, the discharge is up to standard, even if an exemption agreement is signed, it cannot escape the legal responsibility when the emission exceeds the standard. However, the rights and interests of sewage treatment plants are not without guarantee. According to the relevant provisions of the Regulations on Urban Drainage and Sewage Treatment, enterprises may complain to the Ministry of Housing and Construction Committee in the case of excessive water inflows, and require the management department to perform supervisory duties; If you do not act, you can apply for administrative reconsideration or even administrative litigation.
Adhere to the spirit of the contract and guarantee the amount of water and water quality of the sewage treatment plant. The relationship between sewage treatment plants and industrial enterprises is essentially the relationship between the seller and the buyer of social services under market economy conditions. Since the service standards have been agreed, the two parties should fulfill their obligations as agreed: industrial enterprises should try to avoid problems such as overload of sewage treatment plants or increase of water pollution concentration; sewage treatment plants should also improve the operation level of treatment facilities. Ensure compliance with emissions. At the same time, for self-insurance, industrial enterprises and sewage treatment plants should install online monitoring facilities to prove that there is a causal link between the ingress of pollutants in the inlet and the excess of pollutants in the outlet, and provide evidence support for the implementation of the contractual liability clause.
In addition, the government should also assume corresponding responsibilities. The healthy and stable development of the sewage treatment market requires the government to create a good regulatory atmosphere. The ecological environment and the housing and construction department should improve the supervision regulations as soon as possible, clarify the operation of the sewage treatment plant and the supervision of the upstream and downstream links, and fill in the shortcomings of the pre-treatment link and the pipe network transportation link. At the same time, the regulatory authorities should also supervise the relevant industrial enterprises in accordance with the norms and standards, promptly stop their malicious sewage disposal activities, and ensure the stable operation of the sewage treatment plant.