The Ministry of Ecology and Environment was officially inaugurated.
The State Environmental Protection Administration was upgraded to Ministry of Environmental Protection, as an integral department of the State Council.
National Environmental Protection Agency was upgraded to State Environmental Protection Administration (Ministerial level), as an affiliated institution of the State Council in charge of environmental protection effort. The Environmental Protection Commission of the State Council was revoked.
The environmental protection responsibilities were severed from the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development and Environmental Protection to the newly founded National Environmental Protection Agency (a sub-ministerial level agency), which was defined as the competent department under the State Council for the integrated environmental management, an affiliated institution of the State Council, and the office of the Environmental Protection Commission of the State Council.
The Environmental Protection Bureau under the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development and Environmental Protection was reshuffled into National Environmental Protection Agency, which was still under the leadership of the Ministry and also the office of Environmental Protection Commission of the State Council. Its main responsibilities were to plan, coordinate, supervise, and guide the national environmental protection effort.
The Environmental Protection Commission was established under the State Council and tasked to deliberate and finalize relevant guidelines and policies for environmental protection, propose requirements for planning, and lead, organize, and coordinate the national environmental protection effort. One of the Vice Premiers under the State Council held a concurrent position as the Chairman of the Commission, which operated through its office under the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development and Environmental Protection (Environmental Protection Bureau, acting on behalf of the Ministry).
The 23rd meeting of the Standing Committee of the fifth National People’s Congress decided to incorporate State Construction Commission, State Administration of Urban Construction, State Administration of Construction Projects, National Administration of Surveying and Mapping, and the Leading Team for Environmental Protection under the State Council to establish the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development and Environmental Protection, one of the internal departments of which was Environmental Protection Bureau.
The Leading Team for Environmental Protection was officially established under the State Council, and the main responsibilities were: be responsible for the development of guidelines, policies, and regulations; finalize national plans for environmental protection; organize and coordinate the environmental protection effort of local areas and State departments and urge for the inspection on such effort.