A New Milestone: Passage of Air Pollution Control Act Amendments


The EPA pointed out that the revision focuses on the addition of a good neighbor clause, a factory source control mechanism, and mobile pollution source control measures, stricter penalties, and recovering illegal gains and a new whistleblower clause. It provides thorough reinforcement from planning of air quality improvement, source- and midway-control for pollution, to end-of-pipe treatment and responses.

The new neighbor clause: Based on the EPAformulated Air Pollution Control Plan ( 空氣污染防制方案), local environmental bureaus are to coordinate with governments in neighboring counties and cities and set up control plans in order to solve the hazards suffered by people in downwind areas; And factories have to formulate emergency response plans in advance in time for disasters like fire to prevent deterioration of air quality and residents'health.

The mechanism for controlling both factory source and end-of-pipe pollution: Competent authorities need to include harmful air pollutants and evaluate health risks when formulating emission standards; Ingredients of factory-used fuels and products, including volatile organic chemicals, must comply with regulatory limits; Large-scale factories have to adopt the best pollution control technology; Violators will be fined based on number of violations instead of number of days of violation.

The good community clause: Local environmental bureaus are authorized to set up air pollution maintenance zones and limit or ban highly-polluting vehicles from entering or using them; Controls for mobile sources other than vehicles, such as construction instruments, are expanded; The EPA is able to tighten emission standards for vehicles that have come out of the factory for more than ten years; And the harshest penalty is cancellation of driver's license for car and motorcycle owners who fail to have their vehicles'emissions inspected.

Harsher penalties to deter violations: Penalties are largely tightened to deter violations. Violators that cause death with pollution can receive a life sentence in the harshest instance. Fines can be up to NT$30,000,000 for violating criminal acts and NT$20,000,000 for violating executive regulations. Lower limit of fines is proportionately lowered for violations such as failing to undergo regular inspections. On the other hand, fines for legal persons/entities and natural persons increased ten folds.

Clauses for recovering illegal gains and The 2018 EU-Taiwan Circular Economy International Conference lasted for three day, including a seminar on 4 June, a cluster matchmaking event on 5 June, and finally a site tour to circular economy facilities and enterprises in Tainan on the last day. In addition to inviting outstanding local and foreign speakers to give speeches on circular economy in the conference, a trade show was also held outside of the conference venue. Participating companies included Da Fon Environmental Technology, Solar Applied Materials Technology, Far Eastern New Century (FENC), IKEA, RUENTEX, and UWin Nanotech. During the trade show, the participating companies presented a vast array of applications of circular economy, showcasing Taiwan's efforts and achievements in promoting circular economy. For example, IKEA put out a variety of products using local brown sugar; Far Eastern New Century collaborated with a sporting goods company to make World Cup jerseys and sneakers out of ocean waste; Da Fon Environmental Technology created products with recycled plastics; and RUENTEX manufactured heat insulation renders. To further demonstrate Taiwan's accomplishment in promoting circular economy, the souvenirs for the conference guests were made from recycled tin. The EPA was whistleblowers: Those who violate the Act and profit from such actions will be imposed with fines as well as have their illegal gains returned; A mechanism for whistleblowers and rewards has been set up to encourage reporting of illegal activities; And factories are required to disclose information on pollution emission for public scrutiny.

Environmental Protection Administration, R.O.C.(Taiwan)
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