On 4 August 2020, the EPA held a ceremony for the opening of the office in charge of establishing the hazardous chemical emergency training site and for the groundbreaking of the new petrochemical disaster training facilities. The ceremony was jointly led by Yein-Rui Hsieh, Director General of the Toxic and Chemical Substances Bureau, and Wen-lung Chen, Director General of the National Fire Agency (NFA) of the Ministry of the Interior (MOI). Upon completion, the training facilities will significantly improve national preparedness for petrochemical disasters and strengthen the emergency management capacities of first responders in the petrochemical industry. To facilitate the establishment of the training site and enhance efficiency of cross-departmental cooperation, the National Fire Agency is providing the site for the training office which will be shared by employees from different departments.
To increase the level of professionalism of first responders concerning petrochemical disasters and to strengthen their emergency management capabilities, the EPA and the MOI have collaborated to expand training facilities for petrochemical incidents. The MOI provided a site inside the NFA training center that spans 2.5 hectares, while the EPA invested roughly NT$48 million to install a leak/dispersion training simulator with equipment that replicates an operating refinery, next to the existing training facilities.
The leak/dispersion training simulator, which takes up approximately 600 square meters, will be installed inside the NFA training center located in Zhushan Township of Nantou County. It includes four pieces of equipment that replicate processing units of a refinery with connecting pipelines. The simulator, which is estimated to be completed within 2020, is capable of mimicking malfunctions that result in scenarios such as gaseous leaks, dispersion of flammable liquids and resultant fires.
The EPA explained that since most of the raw materials used in the petrochemical industry contain substances that are highly flammable, explosive and toxic, they can easily lead to industrial hazards such as fires, explosions or toxic gas release due to inadequate site management or improper handling. Once the leak training simulator is fully operational, it will be made available for business operators and personnel, emergency responders, and other governmental or international rescue service staff to use. The training simulator can help strengthen workplace safety and emergency response capacity, enhance disaster management, and minimize damage and casualties.
Excerpt from Environmental Policy Monthly, 23 (8)
- Environmental Protection Administration, R.O.C.(Taiwan)