On 22 December 2018, the EPA announced revisions to the Water Quality Standards for Groundwater Body Injection and Types and Limits of Harmful Substances, which was renamed to the Types and Limits of Harmful Substances Prohibited from Being Injected into Groundwater. The revisions made were largely in response to the Water Pollution Control Act’s full ban on wastewater (sludge) being injected into groundwater. Furthermore, the EPA announced 61 harmful substances to be restricted because they are “undetectable” through environmental assessments.
The EPA noted that amendments to water pollution regulations placed prohibitions on any wastewater from being discharged into groundwater, and deleting the regulations that wastewater is permitted being discharged into groundwater according to environmental risk assessment results regulated standards. These changes are done through revisions to the Water Pollution Control Act that fully prohibit the injection of wastewater (sludge) into groundwater. Article 36 Paragraph 2 has been added to increase the severity of punishments for enterprises that inject wastewater containing harmful substances into groundwater. Subsequently, the types of harmful substances and their respective limitations for groundwater injection were also changed to conform with the amendments.
The amendments primarily focus on types and limits of harmful substances injected into groundwater as listed in the table of announced Item 1 as well as Item 2. A total of 61 harmful substances cannot be detected.
The EPA emphasized that the Water Pollution Control Act already prohibits wastewater (sludge) from being injected into groundwater, for which Article 32 Paragraph 1 stipulates that violators will be fined between NT$60,000- NT$6,000,000 . As for those who inject harmful substances into groundwater, Article 36 Paragraph 2 states that they can be penalized with one to seven years of imprisonment, detention and/or a fine between NT$200,000 and NT$20 million.
Excerpt from Environmental Policy Monthly, 22(1)
- Environmental Protection Administration, R.O.C.(Taiwan)