Thu, Nov 20, 2014 - Page 3 News List

EPA announces a proposal to impose wastewater taxes

By Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter

The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) yesterday announced a draft amendment to the Water Pollution Control Act (水汙染防治法), which proposes to impose a tax on wastewater discharged from science parks and industrial complexes starting from next year.

Households are also to be taxed depending on the amount of wastewater they produce from the fourth year following the enforcement of the levy, the draft showed.

EPA Minister Wei Kuo-yen (魏國彥) said that the taxes would come into effect as soon as February next year.

The agency plans to hold two public hearings next week and to announce the final version of the draft next month, Wei said.

Under the proposal, taxes would be implemented in three stages, with the first targeting industrial areas and science parks, such as photovoltaic and electronics companies.

Operators in the animal husbandry industry with ranches of a size exceeding the EPA’s specifications would be taxed starting from the third year, while households and owners of public or private drainage systems would be required to pay from the fourth year, according to the draft.

Wastewater containing heavy metals such as mercury, lead, copper, chromium, cadmium; toxic substances such as cyanide and arsenic; or any controlled pollutant listed by the agency are to be taxed, it said.

According to the draft, the amount of money due in tax payments is to be calculated by an equation that multiplies the quantity of effluent by the concentration levels of pollutants, then multiplying the number by rates determined by the EPA.

EPA Department of Water Quality Director Hsu Yung-hsing (許永興) said that companies and plant owners should boost efficiency by recycling wastewater or reducing the concentration of pollutants in preparation for the launch of the taxes.

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