On 30 November, the EPA held a seminar titled "2021 National Chemical Substances Management Policies and Guidelines, Action Plans, and Achievements" in Taipei regarding the operation and management mechanism of hazardous substances (products) that the people of Taiwan are concerned about. Government agencies, including the finance ministry, transportation and communications ministry, labor ministry, economics ministry, science and technology ministry, interior ministry, and the EPA were invited to attend and share their management actions and achievements concerning chemicals in different stages of their life cycles such as manufacture, importation, usage, storage and transportation and based on topics that are divided according to 11 responsibility areas.
The EPA stated that, in accordance with the National Chemical Substance Management Policy Guidelines approved by the Executive Yuan in 2018, to periodically review the implementation results of relevant ministries under the framework of the policy guidelines and to strengthen communication and exchanges with all sectors, the EPA had held seminars annually since 2018 setting different chemical substance management topics for the ministries to share their implementation results and give feedback to build consensus and establish a basis for cooperation. This way, the ministries can cooperate to implement the objectives and the vision of the National Chemical Substance Management Policy Guidelines and Action Plans.
The EPA stated that the ammonium nitrate explosion at the port of Beirut last August, where more than 200 people perished, more than 6,500 injured, and more than 300,000 people displaced from their homes, has attracted much international attention. In the wake of the event, Premier Su swiftly ordered relevant ministries to review the effectiveness and implementation of regulations and measures pertinent to hazardous waste (products) management. In particular, risks and their corresponding preventive measures should be assessed from the perspectives of possible illegal, unconventional and irregular criminal acts in order to safeguard the security of people. As a result, the seminar emphasized the subject of "Improving the Management Mechanism of Hazardous Substances (Products)" in the hope of consolidating the regulations and measures of relevant agencies and examining the management breakpoints that can be mutually reinforced. This way, many potential risks can be detected and their preventive measures applied prior to them becoming disasters.
Excerpt from Major Environmental Policies, December 2021
- Environmental Protection Administration, R.O.C.(Taiwan)