Tue, Apr 12, 2016 - Page 4 News List

EPA accused of sloppy handling of industrial waste

By Chen Wei-han  /  Staff reporter

The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) was yesterday accused of poor industrial waste management, which legislators said has led to the illegal use of slag and toxic waste as building materials.

A draft waste reduction and recycling act (廢棄物減量及循環利用法 ) and draft amendments to the Waste Disposal Act (廢棄物清理法) were the topics of a question-and-answer session at the Legislative Yuan’s Social Welfare and Environmental Hygiene Committee.

The draft bill is set to combine the Waste Disposal Act with the Resource Reuse and Recycling Act (資源回收再利用法) to define different types of industrial waste and make the EPA the sole authority responsible for industrial waste management, as industrial waste is currently managed by a total of 10 different government agencies, and each has its own rules and regulations.

However, an EPA report that had only an eight-line paragraph in response to the draft bill, which said the bill is complicated and requires more communication with the public and between government units, sparked criticism from lawmakers.

“The mismanagement of industrial waste results from waste being falsely classified as products, overlapping responsibilities and an inability to track the flow of waste materials. The most pressing issue is to come up with a set of unambiguous definitions of different types of industrial waste and their treatment methods,” Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Chen Man-li (陳曼麗) said.

Industrial Development Bureau Director Wu Ming-ji (吳明機) said that only three of the nation’s 62 industrial parks and one out of 13 science parks have toxic waste management centers.

“According to the Waste Disposal Act, industrial parks and science parks cannot begin operations unless waste management facilities are in place, but authorities of the parks do not care about the act,” New Power Party Legislator Hung Tzu-yung (洪慈庸) said.

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