On 23 July 2020, the EPA preannounced the partial revisions of the Methods and Facilities Standards for the Storage, Clearance and Disposal of Industrial Waste (事業廢棄物貯存清除處理方法及設施標準). After meetings were held to gather opinions from stakeholders in response to the public’s concern about landfill leakage, the preannounced revisions were modified. A second preannouncement was issued on 22 October 2020.
The revisions added regulations concerning environmental monitoring and other management-related matters to strengthen the management of landfills for waste final disposal and prevent the impacts that landfilling might cause to the surrounding environments. The EPA noted that the previous draft added that landfills operators shall regularly monitor groundwater quality and improve the management even after their use has ended. Landfill operators are required to submit post-closure restoration plans and carry out restoration, facility maintenance and monitoring according to the approved plans. Monitoring results are to be submitted online and posted on relevant government websites for public inquiry.
Since their promulgation on 8 May 1989, the Standards have undergone 13 revisions with the latest one in February 2020. Taking sanitary landfill regulations in the US and Japan as references, the preannounced revisions required landfills to install composite liners at their bottoms and enhance facilities to effectively prevent leakage, while an exemption clause was added for existing landfills that have already installed liners and are unable to modify them. Moreover, the revisions changed the frequency of environmental monitoring during the post-closure restoration period as well as the time limit for submitting the monitoring results to keep relevant authorities updated on the environmental impacts of landfills.
Highlights of the revisions include:
1. Added regulations concerning the liners and leakage prevention facilities of sanitary landfills (Paragraph 34).
2. Modified regulations concerning earth covers and monitoring in sanitary and closed landfills (Paragraphs 35 and 39).
3. Added regulations concerning the implementation and the content of post-closure restoration plans as well as the restoration time limits (Paragraph 41-1).
4. Added regulations concerning post-closure environmental monitoring and the conditions to end monitoring (Paragraph 41-2).
5. Added stipulations on when to submit the post-closure restoration plans for both new and existing landfills (Paragraph 41-3).
6. Revised regulations concerning the documentation, submission, and disclosure of monitoring results (Paragraph 41-4).
Excerpt from Environmental Policy Monthly, 23 (11)
- Environmental Protection Administration, R.O.C.(Taiwan)