The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) yesterday said it received a record-high 200,000-plus reported cases of environmental pollution last year, showing members of the public are becoming more aware of pollution.
According to the EPA’s statistics, the total number of reported cases nationwide has steadily increased from 85,768 in 1998, to 199,069 in 2010 and 207,463 last year — an average of about 573 reported cases every day.
“The increasing number of reported cases does not necessarily mean that the state of the environment is worsening,” Bureau of Environmental Inspection Deputy Inspector General Yang Su-er (楊素娥) said, adding that it might be because people are demanding greater protection.
It might also be because there are more ways to report a case than before, she said, but added that among the reports received through the Environmental Nuisance Cases Management Information System, which includes e-mails, telephone calls, written statements and other methods, 84.45 percent of the cases were reported by telephone.
Yang said the most commonly reported public nuisances last year were noise pollution and offensive odors — with 69,458 reported cases (about 33.48 percent) of noise pollution, followed by 54,243 cases (26.15 percent) of odor pollution. The two added up to 59.63 percent of reported cases, and such cases are difficult to inspect, Yang said.
The reports were concentrated in metropolises, with 59,627 cases from Taipei, 45,633 cases from New Taipei City (新北市) and 21,112 cases from Greater Taichung, together comprising 60.91 percent of all cases. Yang said that distribution might result from their mixed residential-commercial districts.