The evaluation of environmental impacts has been promoted for over a decade.
The environmental impact assessment (EIA) involves the processes of identifying, predicting, evaluating and mitigating the biophysical, social, and other relevant effects of development proposals prior to making major decisions and commitments. The purpose of the assessment is to ensure that decision-makers consider environmental impacts before deciding whether to proceed with new projects. The goals of EIA are described as follows:
A. A simple EIA system shall be established and regulations shall be formulated
(1) The government will formulate and promulgate the "Environmental Impact Assessment Act" and relevant regulations, e.g. "Environmental Impact Assessment Act Enforcement Rules", "Standards for determining specific items and scope of environmental impact assessments for development activities", "Guidelines for environmental impact assessments for development activities", etc. to form the legal basis for EIA.
(2) To standardize EIA procedures, items and scope of air pollution, water pollution, noise, vibration, plant ecology and animal ecology, marine ecology, cultural assets, and risk assessment of poisonous substances, a set of EIA standard operation procedures shall be provided for development/construction companies.
(3) Regulations governing the EIA of industrial zone developments, the establishment of cultural, educational or healthcare agencies, and extraction of earth and gravel shall be formulated for the reference of environmental protection departments when they review and process applications.
B. The EIA of governmental policies will be introduced and promoted to ensure that environmental consequences of a policy are identified and assessed before authorization is given. This will help competent authorities to reasonably employ measures of quota control and environmental resources, and enhance the implementation of the EIA and the management system. C. After the EIA reports are completed, the government will follow up and monitor the development/construction companies to fulfill environmental management programs. Also, the government will organize professional training courses for environmental protection staff so they can enforce management more effectively. D. Information regarding the EIA shall be publicized and available to the public.
Construction/development companies are required to hold public conferences or hearings when conducting evaluations. When the construction/development applications are submitted to competent environmental protection authorities, the written EIA report shall be uploaded to websites for the public or certain (interest) groups to give and share their comments, which will serve as references for the Environmental Impact Assessment Committee.
- Environmental Protection Administration, R.O.C.(Taiwan)