Tue, Mar 19, 2019 - Page 2 News List

EPA lists pollution acts to face new maximum fine

AIR GUARDIAN:Permitless operators, failure to cease operations and recidivism are among the situations where offenders could be fined NT$20m, the EPA said

By Lin Chia-nan  /  Staff reporter

A couple looks at the Taipei skyline shrouded in smog on March 3.

Photo: CNA

The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) yesterday announced draft guidelines that outline which breaches of the Air Pollution Control Act (空氣污染防制法) would bring the maximum fine of NT$20 million (US$648,677), saying fines could be calculated according to the frequency of violations.

The maximum fine was increased from NT$1 million after amendments to the law took effect in August last year, the EPA said, adding that its guidelines outline situations that would warrant the new maximum fine.

Serious breaches include pollution emitters that do not have permits, those that fail to halt operations as ordered and those that repeatedly contravene the act after being told to improve twice within a year, it said.

Other breaches that could draw the maximum fine are factories that emit large amounts of air pollutants that seriously affect air quality, those that emit hazardous air pollutants, endangering public health, and those that emit pollutants via unlicensed outlets, the EPA said.

Authorities would be empowered to issue fines according to the frequency of violations, not just how many days a violation lasts, Department of Air Quality Protection and Noise Control Director-General Wu Sheng-chung (吳盛忠) said.

The minimum fine for a minor violation, such as burning in an open space, was reduced from NT$5,000 to NT$1,200 in a bid to make the penalty more proportionate, Wu said.

The draft regulations entail a 30-day notification period for members of the public to express their opinion, while the agency would subsequently hold public forums, Wu said.

The agency is also preparing amendments to allow it to confiscate unlawful revenue from those that contravene the rules, the EPA said.

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