The EPA amended the enforcement rules to add the definition and implementation details of “other activities” for environmental education, which all employees, teachers, and students need to attend for at least four hours per year. Also, in order to provide the competent authority a clear reference and standards for penalties, the EPA set a deadline for taking such courses. The following are the main points of the amendments:
1. The Greenhouse Gas Reduction and Management Act ( 溫室氣體減量及管理法 ) will be included as one of the environmental protection laws specified in the Environmental Education Act. Also, the greenhouse gas management fund has been listed under the category of environmental protection fund.
2. The Implementation Regulations for Environmental Education Plans and Results Reporting and the Regulations for Organizing Environmental Seminars have been formulated as authorized by the Environmental Education Act. Adjustments have also been made to remove outdated content.
3. The definition of “other activities” stated in Article 19-3 of the Act has been added, which does not include visiting activities.
4. To serve as a reference for issuing penalties, it has been added to Article 24 of the Act that the deadline for taking the environmental education courses shall not surpass 90 days.
The draft of the Implementation Regulations for Environmental Education Plans and Results Reporting was formulated in accordance with Article 19 Paragraph 2 of the Act. The main purpose of the implementation regulations is to educate all institutions, government-run business institutions, schools, and organizations with more than 50% of their funding sponsored by the government on how to formulate and implement environmental education plans and to report the outcomes of carrying out plans. As for the Regulations for Organizing Environmental Seminars, draft amendments have been made to lift the limit on the first hour of the seminar being environmental ethics lessons. Therefore, the disciplinary institution will be able to incorporate environmental protection related experience activities, internships, and practices when organizing an environmental seminar. Also, the amendments stipulate that offenders can apply for a one-time extension if they are unable to attend a seminar for a legitimate reason.
The EPA started holding environmental seminars in 2011. The Environmental Education Act stipulates that the following entities are required to participate in up to eight hours of environmental seminars:
violators of environmental protection laws and autonomous entities that have been subjected to a fine higher than NT$5,000; and, businesses that have been suspended or shut down by the government. The Regulations for Organizing Environmental Seminars aims to strengthen the implementation of environmental seminars in order to enable the disciplinary organization to provide seminar contents that are better suited for the offenders, and serve as a clear standard and guideline for the disciplinary organization. Through these seminars, the EPA hopes to improve the environmental knowledge of offenders and educate them to respect and maintain the environment that all rely on.
- Environmental Protection Administration, R.O.C.(Taiwan)