The amendments expanded the scope of control for Class 1 to Class 3 toxic chemical substances to include the concerned chemical substances that have been announced as hazardous. The amendments also stipulate that handlers of more than one chemical substance shall evaluate the chemical risks and the response capability of the entire handling site before formulating the facility/site hazard prevention and response plan. In addition, the amendments require handling sites with higher calculated risk potential to add an external notification system and additional relevant information in the facility/site hazard prevention and response plans. The amendments also stipulate that the competent authorities may consider operational risks and require operators of handling sites with a history of major incidents to supplement their response plans with relevant information and resubmit them.
According to Article 35 paragraph 2 of the Toxic and Concerned Chemical Substances Control Act, hazard prevention and response plans are to be published on the designated website for information transparency when their content does not concern personal information, national security, classified materials on national defense, and trade secrets. To protect the rights of the handlers who had submitted their response plans before the amendments took effect and to carry out the doctrine of legitimate expectation, a two-year grace period is granted to the handlers in consideration of the large scale of the amendments. The grace period will give handlers sufficient time to re-evaluate the handling risks of the sites and revise their response plans in accordance with the amendments for submission.
The EPA reminds handlers of the importance of regular preparation for solid disaster prevention. By enhancing the preparation of relevant information, formulating proper response measures and conducting regular drills, an emergency response can be implemented immediately should an incident happen. Preparing for emergencies can also effectively reduce the severity of disasters, protect the safety of human life and property, and lessen the potential harm to the environment.
Excerpt from Environmental Policy Monthly, 23 (11)
- Environmental Protection Administration, R.O.C.(Taiwan)