The EPA announced the revised Air Pollution Control Fee Collection Regulations (空氣污染防制費收費辦法) on 24 March 2022. The revision had two focuses. First, a reporting threshold was set regarding air pollution fee, exempting about 2,000 listed premises from reporting. This will result in reduction of around 70,000 reports that have to be reviewed annually by the EPA, saving about NT$30 million in costs. In addition, the number of installments for the payment of owed fees has been increased to 36. Second, in order to strengthen control, the maximum air pollution fee as determined by data verification can be adopted to deter enterprises from falsifying data with the intent of paying less air pollution fee.
The EPA expressed that the main purpose of this amendment is to address problems and disputes encountered by local environmental protection bureaus and enterprises in implementing the regulations. Control measures relevant to the collection of air pollution control fee have been amended to make the provisions more reasonable and pragmatic. Regarding the air pollution control fee report of stationary pollution sources, a threshold for reporting emissions was added to reduce administrative load. The threshold to report emissions of nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides, volatile organic compounds and particular matter was stipulated to be over 10 kg per quarter.
Regarding the provisions for the payment of owed fee in installments, when the amount owed is more than $20 million, the number of installments can be extended to 36 to alleviate enterprises’ burden of paying owed air pollution fee. In addition, regulations concerning the verification of data obtained through online connection from continuous emission monitoring systems installed in smokestacks have been added to prevent public and private premises from falsifying continuous monitoring data to pay less air pollution fee. An inspection mechanism has been added for environmental authorities to verify compliance of the original data in cases of incompliances, and to determine air pollution fee based on inspection results or emission coefficients. In such cases, the largest value can be used to determine the air pollution fee.
Further, a maximum period over which data can be backtracked to recalculate or collect evaded air pollution fees has been added in an effort to settle disputes between competent authorities and public or private premises. If incompliances are found, data over the five years prior to the quarter before the time when enterprises are notified by competent authorities to submit data for verification can be used to determine the payable amount.
Excerpt from Major Environmental Policies, April 2022
- Environmental Protection Administration, R.O.C.(Taiwan)