Wed, Aug 12, 2015 - Page 4 News List

EPA amendment proposals aimed at water monitoring

By Chen Wei-han  /  Staff reporter

The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) has proposed amendments to a water pollution control statute to monitor industrial wastewater through the expansion of automated monitoring equipment in drainage systems.

The EPA on Monday announced draft amendments to the Regulations Governing Water Pollution Control Measures and Test Reporting Management (水污染防治措施及檢測申報管理辦法), which would require every plant or enterprise that discharges 1.5 million liters of industrial wastewater daily to install automatic monitoring equipment in sewage pipes, which would transmit monitoring data to local environmental agencies.

The draft amendments would apply to 80 percent — from the previous 49 percent — of the industrial parks in the nation and compel 269 large enterprises — from the previous 84 firms —to have such equipment in place, EPA technical specialist Lee Yean-kuan (李衍寬) said.

Operators would also be required to set up surveillance cameras at wastewater outfalls to constantly monitor sewage, ensuring that the cameras are connected to local environmental agencies, the EPA said.

The proposed amendments also introduced the notion of “acute toxicity” to regulate effluent toxicity. Acute toxicity is defined as the concentration of effluent that is lethal to 50 percent of living organisms exposed to the effluent, Lee said, adding that a minimum legal toxicity limit is pending further assessment.

To minimize pollution from animal husbandry, the proposed amendments would also regulate the use of biowaste as fertilizer, the EPA said.

The draft amendments are to take effect one year after the announcement — which is expected to be made next month or in October — and operators that fail to comply with the regulations could face a suspension of their license or a maximum fine of NT$6 million (US$187,032), the EPA said.

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