1. Forum and exhibition to celebrate 2005 World Environment Day

    Taiwan EPA held a two days forum and exhibition in 1-2 June 2005 on Kyoto Protocol and climate change, with assistance of the British Council and the Industrial Technology Research Institute, to celebrate the World Environment Day with the international community concurrently.


    The World Environment Day was set at 5th June by the United Nations Environment Programme at Stockholm in 1972, many countries hold a serial of celebrating programmes on various environmental themes on that day in every year to raise the awareness and understanding of governmental agencies and the general public on environmental problems faced in the new millennium.


    In Taiwan, representatives of governmental agencies, academia, environmental groups, consumer organizations, industrial associations and corporations were invited to participate the forum, discussing topics on the desired policies and frammework of greenhouse gas emission control for Taiwan, adaptation of climate change, and the reduction potential and business opportunities of industry.


    Outside campus visiting tours were also organized for elementary and junior high school students during the sessions, with tour guides to assist children and teachers to have a better understanding of environmental problems and solutions. There are total 16 organisations exhibited their products or campaign on ecological conservation, community development, climate change, environmental labeling, ozone layer protection, Biomass to energy, methane capture and solar powered vehicle. The British Council also presented the “Zero Carbon City” video, assisting viewers in recognising the impacts of city life style to the environment and the counter actions that could be adopted.


  2. Taiwan EPA constructing an Internet HCFCs quota application system

    Taiwan EPA currently is planning to establish a HCFCs import quota application platform on Internet, to assist the streamlining of the process and reduce the workload of both applicants and administrators.


    While the Taiwan EPA took over the responsibility of issuing HCFCs import quota in 2002, the rulebook ‘HCFCs Consumption Management Regulations’ was immediately revised and official enacted in 15th January 2003. However, the operational rules were basically following the original version to avoid unnecessary burdens to the private sector caused by changes.


    After 2 years of implementation, Taiwan EPA currently is modifying the rules to eliminate some of the loopholes discovered, particularly focusing on correcting current ambiguous definition of the “end user”, which was entitled to acquire quota with priority. The original intention was to assure real users could obtain enough amount of HCFCs needed. Such modifications will be reflected in the constructing Internet platform as well.


  3. Imbalance in supply and demand of methyl bromide observed in 2004

    Through a recent visit of Taiwan EPA in 25th May to importers that applied for methyl bromide import quota for the latter half of 2004, for whom have also requested for extension in term of validity of quota for former half of 2005. Opposed to the requests, Taiwan EPA observed the importer actually had unusual amount of stockpile.


    Currently there is only one importer of methyl bromide in Taiwan, and it explained that the excessive stockpile and further import was to respond to the market fluctuation in demands, and it is the corresponding measure to the prolonging quota issuing process.


    Taiwan EPA also visited 3 users of methyl bromide, and to find the fumigation servicing demand has double between 2004-2005, that is due to the request of International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPMs) No.15 Guidelines, which only recognised methyl bromide fumigation or heat treatment as approved measures to treat packaging material made of coniferous and non-coniferous raw wood in the international trade.


    Contrary to the claim of importer, the users pointed out the deficiency of substance in the market and were investing in facility of heat treatment, which is expected to be in service in 2005. The cause of such contradiction from both sides needs to be investigated further, and the current forbidden in transferring of quota among users could be the root to the problem.


  4. 2005 activities to raise awareness in ozone layer protection and climate change in Taiwan

    Taiwan EPA held a drawing and painting contest for children this year, with assistance of The Association for Atmospheric Protection in Taiwan (AAPT) and Industrial Technology Research Institute. Themes were set on ozone layer protection and climate change, hoping both parents and children could have a better understanding of the issues through the searching for inspiration.


    The contest was open to all elementary school pupils in Taiwan, with junior, intermediate, and senior grade grouping. There were total 500 pieces of work received, and 3 excellent, 10 outstanding, and 15 fine pieces of work were awarded.


    In the same period, nomination on individual that has contribution to the ozone layer protection and climate change was also called to industrial, academia and institutional sectors. A committee of experts, scholars and representatives of industry reviewed the nominations. Taiwan EPA awarded companies or groups that have outstanding achievement in ozone depleting substances alternatives and not-in-kind technology development, greenhouse gas emission mitigation, and improving air quality by the in 2005 Taiwan International Conference on Atmosphere Protection. Companies that judged to be fulfilling the requirements were Powerchip Semiconductor Co., China Steel Co., Winbond Electronics Co., Chi Mei Optoelectronics Co., TECO Electrical and Machinery, Gatetech Technology Inc., BASF Polyurethanes Co., Flying King Recycling Engineering Co., Au Optronics Co., Mitsubishi Motor, and Ford Liu-Ho Motor Co.


  5. Flaws found in investigation report of halon discharged incident from Taipei metropolitan transit system

    An accidental discharged of fire extinguishing agent halon from the substation of Taipei metropolitan transit system was reported in 8th May 2004. The fire fighting system was re-analysed to find only halon-1301 charged, which was regarded to have low toxicity to human being. However, complain of the surrounding resident were still filed to the city administrator, and the mass media was skeptical of the long-term effects of halon and its potential by-product to human health.


    An investigation report conducted by the TaipeiCityHospital released its findings in August 2005, inferring some of the illness found in nearby resident could be caused by phosgene, which is toxin to human and recorded as potential by-product of halon-1211. Such inference was stretched by the media and has caused concern from the citizen of Taipei.


    Health Department of Taipei summoned a re-examination of the report by 10 experts and scholars from environmental toxicology and medical fields to clarify the rationality of such inference, but found many flaws in the logical and medical reasoning. Especially the studies solely based on residents were suffering from abnormity of blood cells dieses- acute hemolytic anemia, which has little tested results to support that. And halon-1211 of CFC-12 are the two candidates that could potentially form phosgene in this context, and it has also been ruled out due to the agent charged is halon-1301.


 

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Directed by ︰epa Environmental Protection Administration, R.O.C. ( Taiwan )
Edited by ︰itri Industrial Technology Research Institute