The EPA recently reviewed the status of remediation of contaminated sites, and examined the relationship between items listed for collection of remediation fees and their pollution potentials. The EPA concluded that current fees do not adequately reflect remediation costs. To correct this, the EPA has preannounced amendments to the Regulations Governing Collection of Soil and Groundwater Pollution Remediation Fees.
After considering the government’s soil and groundwater pollution management targets, and referring to Article 28 Paragraph 2 of the Soil and Groundwater Pollution Remediation Act and Article 3 Paragraph 3 of the Regulations Governing Collection of Soil and Groundwater Pollution Remediation Fees, the EPA drafted the amendments. The amendments will mainly affect the categories of substances subject to remediation fee collection, fee rates, industry categories, and some of the wording of the regulations. The main points of the amendments are as follows:
1. The EPA amended the remediation fee rates after thoroughly examining: the pollutants discovered at the contaminated sites; listed soil and groundwater pollution control and monitoring items; and, chemicals with pollution potentials. The revised fee rates will not only better reflect the substances’ pollution potentials, they will also increase the ratio of fees collected from wastes to those collected from raw materials, products and byproducts, thus making the fees more reflective of the sources of contamination.
2. As a result of the changes to the fee structure, the fee base has expanded with the addition of 22 substances that will be subject to remediation fees. New additions include chlorinated hydrocarbons, such as pentachlorophenol; heavy metals and their compounds, such as molybdenum and indium; and 13 pesticides, such as chlordane.
3. The remediation fees for waste are currently collected according to industry categories which gives rise to a number of problems. The amended fees will be collected on the basis of volumes of 66 categories of industrial waste, each having a code according to a system that the EPA has created to reflect the amount recorded on the manifest, to make the system fair for the enterprises concerned.
4. Fee rates have been adjusted to correspond to the changes in industry categories, collection ratios, and total amount of fees collected.
5. The method of interest calculation on late payments has been clarified. The EPA will also enforce the online-only fee-payment report to simplify procedures, make it easier for the public to pay fees and make fee collection more effective.
6. The requirement that the remediation fees collection system should be reviewed and adjusted every four years is replaced by rolling reviews of fee rates and of items subject to fees.
- Environmental Protection Administration, R.O.C.(Taiwan)