To meet management needs, the EPA has announced revisions to the Enterprise Classification and Definition of the Water Pollution Control Act on 1 May 2019. Five enterprise categories, including seawater desalination plants, have been added for future control. The revisions for different categories will take effect on different dates.
The EPA noted that so far 61 types of enterprises are under control under the current Water Pollution Control Act and that the revisions further intensify controls in response to practical management needs. The reasons for the revisions are as follows.
Seawater desalination plants are currently controlled under the classification of waterworks. Moreover, application conditions are different due to characteristics of seawater treatment and emissions, so they should be individually controlled for water pollution. Recently, there have been water pollution incidents caused by enterprises of scales that were too small to be required for water pollution controls. Examples include untreated total phosphorous-containing wastewater being discharged into rivers and causing eutrophication in reservoirs. Pollutants in storage tanks were leaked and led to soil or groundwater pollution. However, the culprits could not be required to install pollution-controlling facilities and monitoring equipment based on the Water Pollution Control Act. Also, steam-producing enterprises that use wet oxidation to treat waste gases generated wastewater containing pollutants like dioxins, suspended solids (SSs), and organic matter.
In addition, for both livestock and copepod-farming enterprises agricultural waste reutilization trial projects approved by competent agricultural authorities, the control needs to be tightened as wastewater generated by farming activities contains high concentration of organic matters that affect water body quality.
The revisions include the following main points:
1.Newly adding enterprises that collect livestock manure or liquor and fiber digestate treated with aerobatic fermentation for aquatic plant seeds and animal feeds like farming algae, and rotifer or other aquatic animals: Control applies to enterprises in two conditions. Its size must exceed 0.25 hectares if its located inside a protective area for water quantity and quality in water origin and 0.5 hectares if outside of it. Control will take effect on 1 July 2019. The enterprises will be controlled with control items, standards, and limited for Enterprise 59, animal husbandry and animal excreta or bioenergy treatment center (or biogas center).
2.Newly adding Enterprise 61: seawater desalination plants. Enterprises that collect, desalinate seawater or semi-saltwater for water use. Twenty-one control items are specifically added.
3.Newly adding Enterprise 62: enterprises within total phosphorous reduction control zones of reservoirs: Control targets, control standards, and limits are according to the reservoirs total phosphorous reduction control zones and control methods announced by the competent authorities in special municipalities, counties, and cities.
4.Newly adding Enterprise 63: steam suppliers. Enterprises that install broilers and engage in steam production, delivery, and supply, and as a result generate wastewater. Control will be effective from 1 July 2019. Control standards and limits are additionally set for a total of 46 items, including dioxins, and will take effect from 1 July 2020.
5.Newly adding enterprises that install storage facilities within operating premises, store materials designated by the central competent authorities in Article 33 Paragraph 1 of the Water Pollution Control Act with storage capacity of 200 liters or more: Control will take effect on 1 July 2020.
6.For enterprises with incinerating facilities that set up wet or semi-dry washing equipment for their own air pollution control facilities, dioxins within the effluents should be listed for control whether or not the washing equipment generates wastewater. Moreover, regulations of total residual chlorine for effluents with high salinity (if using seawater as base) specify chlorine-formed oxidants as control items if an actual need for this is required.
The EPA emphasizes that it aims to encourage enterprises to properly operate wastewater treatment facilities and improve water body quality by putting enterprises with pollution potentials under control and also adding suitable control items and limits for effluents.
Excerpt from Environmental Policy Monthly, 22 (6)
- Environmental Protection Administration, R.O.C.(Taiwan)