The EPA is constantly supervising and auditing large factories in science parks to ensure that they are living up to their environmental assessment pledges, such as recycling wastewater. From April 2015 to the present, there have been noticeable improvements. EPA statistics show that the amount of wastewater recycled by large factories in science parks has reached 429,780,187 tonnes annually, a volume large enough to supply the whole country with 2 months of household water. The EPA will continue to refine its auditing and inspection techniques to ensure that all enterprises fulfill each of their environmental assessment pledges. Needless to say, violators will be penalized according to the law.
The results from the 65 enterprises in the three science parks show that all of them are keeping to the pledges laid out in their environmental assessment pledges. The minimum total amount of wastewater pledged to be recycled is 395,954,285 tonnes annually. The actual recycled volume was 429,780,187 tonnes annually, more than the EPA had expected.
Looking at this in terms of its contribution to society, the water saved is equivalent to 171,912 Olympic-size swimming pools, enough to irrigate 2,978 hectares of rice paddies or provide water to all of Taiwan’s households for 73 days.
There have been frequent serious droughts in different parts of the world in recent years and Taiwan’s natural water resources are also under pressure. In addition, legal requirements for water recycling and reuse are still insufficient and the best methodology for inspecting and auditing water recycling efforts has yet to be determined. All these factors combined means that Taiwan is facing a water crisis. To overcome these three major issues, the EPA is seeking out the best administrative tools, of which environmental impact assessment (EIA) is one. Knowing that each case is different, the EPA is asking enterprises to recycle a certain percentage of wastewater to promote effluent reduction at source as well as water conservation. The EPA also established an auditing program that was administered throughout 2015 in all science parks to determine wastewater recycling rates. Revolutionary EIA decision enforcement methods also helped improve the management of water resources.
To find out how developers comply with their EIA pledges on wastewater recycling, the EPA has developed its own auditing and inspection methods. Before planning the auditing regimen the EPA invited experts in related fields to teach courses and give specialist training on water recycling and reuse to EPA inspectors. Meetings between the experts and government agencies were also held to research and discuss the content of a handy reference manual for use in the field. The compiled manual includes information on inspection site selecting, parameters, and calculation and inspection methods.
Constant supervision and auditing of large factories will thus allow for more of Taiwan’s precious water to remain in reservoirs and be allocated effectively, leaving more for agricultural and household use.
- Environmental Protection Administration, R.O.C.(Taiwan)