The number of development projects has continued to increase in recent years. There were nearly 108,000 construction projects in 2020, an increase of 10% compared to 2016. The particulate matter (PM10) emission caused by construction projects was 20% more than 2016. Now that the EPA has announced the revised Management Regulations for Air Pollution Control Facilities of Construction Projects, pollution emissions from construction projects are expected to be reduced by 15%, cutting down approximately 3,415 metric tons of particulate matter per year, which equals the annual particulate matter emission of 15 Taichung Power Plants. The new regulations will become effective on 1 November 2022.
The highlight of the revision included three major categories: further enhancement of pollution reduction, improvement of pollution prevention and control, and strengthening of construction site management. The EPA will implement controls in six primary areas:
1.Expanding the targets of Type 1 construction projects for control, lowering the control thresholds for constructions, roads, pipelines, bridges, and regional development projects to increase pollution reduction.
2. Increasing the height of the construction fences in Class 3 control regions. For Type 2 construction projects located in an area that does not meet the air quality standards, the required height of the fence will be increased from 1.8 meters to 2.4 meters to reduce wind and dust.
3. Increasing the ratio of control areas for vehicle paths and exposed areas. For example, the control area of Type 1 projects has been increased from 80% to 90%, and the remaining 10% of the uncontrolled parts shall still be sprayed with water regularly every day to reduce the primary pollution emissions of construction projects.
4. Adding stipulations requiring large-scale projects to be equipped with automatic vehicle washing equipment. For regional development projects and dredging projects with a high frequency of vehicle movement, automatic vehicle washing equipment shall be installed for effective cleaning, and adjacent roads shall also be washed to reduce road pollution outside the work area.
5. Adding stipulations concerning measures and control facilities required for active operations. Water shall be sprinkled to keep a location wet during operations such as excavation, backfilling, transporting, loading, unloading, compacting, and screening. Dust shall be effectively contained during crushing (pulverizing), grinding, cutting, and scratching work, and dust escape shall be suppressed.
6. Adding stipulations requiring projects of a specific scale to be equipped with monitoring instruments and video surveillance systems (CCTV). For construction projects with an area of more than one hectare and with a construction period of at least one year or with more than 10,000 cubic meters of earth transported in from outside, comprehensive monitoring shall be conducted to ensure that pollution prevention and control facilities are operated and maintained during the construction period to maximize the effectiveness of pollution reduction measures.
This revision of the Management Regulations has been the most significant one since the regulations were promulgated in 2003, affecting approximately 240 to 4,400 construction sites. The increased expenditure on the prevention and control measures is estimated to account for only 0.01%~1.62% of the project expenditure. However, considering that construction projects will need additional funding for air pollution prevention and control facilities, relevant enterprises are given a one-year grace period, so that the revised regulations will not take effect until 1 November 2022. The EPA reminded that for construction projects that have been contracted or will be contracted, if the construction period extends past 1 November 2022, they should start to adjust air pollution prevention and control facilities and establish in advance the standard operating procedures for keeping operation records.
Excerpt from Major Environmental Policies, November 2021
- Environmental Protection Administration, R.O.C.(Taiwan)