At a public hearing on the drafted Resource Recycling Act (資源循環利用法) at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei yesterday, environmental groups urged the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) to delete an article that would authorize land reclamation plans.
The EPA’s proposed Resource Recycling Act would combine the regulations of two current acts — the Resource Recycling and Reuse Act (資源回收再利用法) and the Waste Disposal Act (廢棄物清理法).
Article 17 of the act stipulates that the central government should work with industry competent authorities to set up policies or plans, and to plan for noncombustible waste resources — that are not harmful and are stable — to be used for expansion development projects at harbor areas or filling for land reclamation at coastal industrial parks.
The EPA’s explanation document for the article said it explicitly sets the legal authority for land reclamation, the location for land reclamation and selection mechanism for the filling substances, operation of the appropriate treatment of the filling substances before they are used as filling, and the responding measures if the land reclamation causes pollution or affects the ecology.
“It is dangerous for land reclamation to be allowed by the law when it has not even been reviewed through a strategic environmental assessment procedure,” Tainan Community University researcher Wu Jen-pang (吳仁邦) said.
Chen Chiao-hua (陳椒華), spokeswoman for the Taiwan Alliance for the Protection of Water Resources, said the article should be omitted because it did not clearly define what is considered “not harmful,” and that Greater Kaohsiung’s South Star Plan land reclamation project has already led to high levels of arsenic in the area’s groundwater.
EPA Department of Waste Management director Wu Tien-chi (吳天基) said his agency tries to stipulate land reclamation regulations in the draft act because current laws lack sufficient regulations and that it hopes other industry competent authorities would set related policy plans based on the act.
DOING ENOUGH? The HPA budgets NT$1.3 billion to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but has no separate budget to fight teen drinking, a doctor said The government should step up alcohol education and prevention efforts, and allocate more of the budget to it, doctors said on Friday, citing the high consumption of alcohol among Taiwanese adolescents. One out of four 12-to-17-year-olds has consumed alcohol, said Yen Tsung-hai (顏宗海), director of Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital’s Department of Clinical Toxicology. The Health Promotion Administration (HPA) budgets NT$1.3 billion (US$43.9 million) annually to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but it has not allocated a separate budget for preventing teenage drinking or excessive alcohol use, Yen said. “There is no so-called ‘safe drinking level’ for minors,” because any amount consumed
The Fancy Frontier manga and anime expo held in Taipei over the weekend has sparked controversy, after a participant allegedly contravened the Act on Offenses Against Sexual Morality (妨害風化罪) by publicly exposing her private parts during a photo shoot. The two-day event opened at the Expo Dome at the Taipei Expo Park on Saturday, attracting numerous comic and anime creators, cosplayers, photographers and fans. Allegedly, a female cosplayer who was not wearing any underwear lifted up her skirt and revealed her private parts at an outdoor photography area near the venue. Event organizers said yesterday that to prevent indecent exposure, they have since
YOUNGEST PATIENT: Cases of botulism have been only sporadically reported over the past few years, with two in 2015, six in 2016 and none in the past three years The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday reported the nation’s first case of infant botulism this year, a four-month-old boy in northern Taiwan, as well as five new cases of Japanese encephalitis confirmed last week. The boy was introduced to homemade solid food in the middle of last month, but began to experience constipation and loss of appetite on June 23, CDC Epidemic Intelligence Center Deputy Director Guo Hung-wei (郭宏偉) said, adding that he was taken to the hospital when he developed a fever and shortness of breath on June 25. In the hospital, the boy also experienced a rapid heartbeat, limb
The National Taiwan Museum’s Railway Department Park in Taipei is to open to the public today. The park in Datong District (大同) near the North Gate (北門, Beimen) is one of the museum’s four branches. During the Japanese colonial era, the site housed the railway department of the Office of the Governor-General of Taiwan’s Bureau of Transportation. After World War II, it served as the headquarters for the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) for several decades. In 2007, it was listed as a national monument under the Cultural Heritage Preservation Act (文化資產保存法). At an opening ceremony yesterday, Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung