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2012

Poor Management and Inspection of Industrial Waste

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Insufficient nationwide disposal capacity has resulted in rampant illegal dumping. As a result of CY’s investigation in 2000 nine officials responsible for cases of illegal dumping are demoted, admonished or given demerit. Although the government has enhanced capacity for handling industrial waste and implemented measures for recycling and reuse, illegal dumping remains central to the problem of waste handling and conducive to negative public perceptions. The CY has received many public complaints concerning the problem over the past decade. Is it a lack of discipline and morality on the part of cleaning and disposal businesses or expensive legal disposal fees that force the businesses to resort to illegal means of disposal? (Case no. 1000800163)

Industrial waste such as furnace dust and slag is found to be illegally dumped in mountainous piles that seem impossible to be completely disposed of, along with the incalculable waste generated by unregistered businesses. Although progress has been made to streamline the method of handling industrial waste, the reality falls short of the “100% disposal capacity” claimed by competent authority. Consistent calculation and terminology is called for to ensure accurate reporting. Industrial waste amounts to ninety percent of domestic waste disposal, the treatment of which is complex, diverse and unique, requiring high level of technical support. The industrial waste tonnage has been on the rise over years despite the government’s effort in waste reduction. Data from the Environmental Protection Administration and Industrial Development Bureau (IDB) show that industrial waste tonnage in the past five years have grown from 14.2 million in 2006 to 16.19 million tons in 2010 on an incremental basis. The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) should push for legislating recycling and reuse, so as to resolve existing contradiction between the Waste Disposal Act and the Resource Recycling Act and deter illegal disposals. The EPA should also set up an SOP for handling waste and regulations for inspection and investigation, in order to uphold justice.

The CY’s investigation prompted the EPA and IDB to revise the terminology and set about amending the Resource Recycling Act. The CY proposed to the Judicial Yuan to requests courts nationwide to handle industrial waste disposal cases with extra caution and efficiency. At the request of the CY, the Ministry of Justice has set up nationwide environmental crime centers in collaboration with local governments and NGOs, enhanced inter-city risk management system and stepped up enforcement of the law on environmental protection.

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