Sun, Jun 03, 2012 - Page 2 News List

EPA tightens limits on pollutants in wastewater

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) yesterday announced enhanced measures to monitor levels of pollutants discharged into sewage systems by companies and industries located in science parks by adding ammoniacal hydrogen and dioxins to its list of regulated chemicals.

High concentrations of ammoniacal hydrogen can lead to a deterioration of water quality, making it toxic to some aquatic organisms, said Hsu Yung-hsing (許永興), director of the EPA’s Department of Water Quality.

According to the EPA, surveys showed that ammoniacal hydrogen content in wastewater discharged from photoelectric industries and companies in science parks accounts for about 34 percent of the total discharge.

The EPA is therefore introducing in two phases restrictions on ammoniacal hydrogen in wastewater for existing photoelectric materials and electronic components companies. The limit is 75mg per liter for the first phase, which goes into effect on July 1; this drops to 30mg per liter for the second phase, effective Jan. 1, 2017.

As for newly established companies, the maximum limit for ammoniacal hydrogen in wastewater will be 20mg per liter it said.

Meanwhile, maximum limits for dioxins in wastewater are set to be 5pg I-TEQ per liter for new companies and 10pg I-TEQ per liter for existing companies, it said.

The EPA cited surveys from European countries showing that dioxin concentrations in water account for only about 0.25 percent of total dioxins discharged in the environment each year. It said that surveys in Taiwan also showed that after proper treatment, dioxin discharge by local industries was much lower than US and Japanese standards of 10pg I-TEQ per liter.

The EPA advised pulp and paper operators to use chlorine-free bleaching and stabilize control over sewage treatment facilities to reduce the amount of dioxin discharge.

Additional reporting by CNA

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