Emergency Response Information Center Operates 24/7 as Model of Innovation and Application of Green Chemistry
To strengthen the nation’s chemical substance control and promote green chemistry, the EPA invited members of the National Chemical Substance Management Board and officials from authorities in charge of controlling chemical substances to visit the Emergency Response Information Center (ERIC) of the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), which has received the Green Chemical Application and Innovation Award for two consecutive years. The tour not only aimed to promote green chemistry but also helped the visitors to understand the response system in times of disasters involving toxic and chemical substances.
The Green Chemistry Application and Innovation Award was set up in 2018 to encourage all fields to be dedicated to green chemistry. Actual practices include research and development of alternatives with low-pollution and low-toxic manufacturing, reduced use of toxic and chemical substances, disaster prevention, and enhancement of disaster response capacities. Over the past two years, 29 enterprises have received the award. The two-time award-winner the ERIC has been honored for its efforts and contributions in green chemistry.
The ERIC is in charge of monitoring and consultation on dangerous chemical accidents under the commission of agencies like the Toxic and Chemical Substances Bureau (TCSB) and the Industrial Development Bureau (IDB). It provides the most immediate consultations on emergency response in real-time for disaster response units like environmental bureaus and fire departments. In recent years, even technologies like artificial intelligence, augmented reality, virtual reality, and mixed reality are utilized to set up training scenarios that simulate possible disaster scenarios along with real smoke and water pressures. It greatly enhances training authenticity and increases personnel’s response capabilities under different situations.
Other than the enhancement of equipment, technology, and staff training, the ERIC is dedicated to promoting applications of knowledge and resources for disaster prevention by working with the EPA, city and county environmental bureaus, and enterprises in technology and chemical industries to organize regular drills and tests. Over 28 courses and 10 scenarios will be designed for future promotion campaigns. Additionally, the ERIC provides chemical consultation services all year around, effectively enhancing the industries’ and academia’s capacities in chemical disaster prevention and response.
The EPA expressed that the tour not only promoted green chemistry, but also encouraged the visitors to understand the emergency response system and experience the simulation of the emergency response environment. The EPA will invite colleges and universities to visit the Green Chemical Application and Innovation Award winners to learn about green chemistry, root down the concept, and plant the seeds of green chemistry. Information on the Green Chemical Application Innovation Award (in Chinese) can be found at https://topic.epa.gov.tw/gcai/mp-9.html.
Excerpt from Major Environmental Policies, April 2022
- Environmental Protection Administration, R.O.C.(Taiwan)