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Environmental Monitoring_Smart Governance via Environmental Sensing IoT Enhances Inspection Capacity

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The EPA has been implementing the program for development and deployment of environmental quality Internet of Things (IoT) and its application in law enforcement as well as the Smart IoT -- Intergenerational Environmental Management program since 2017. These two programs are under the Digital Construction sector of the Forward-Looking Infrastructure Development Program. With the programs, the EPA utilizes relevant technology to set up an environmental sensing IoT network, works with local environmental bureaus to deploy sensors for air pollution and water quality for smart environmental governance. As the environment sensing IoT real-time information is provided to environmental inspection personnel in understanding environmental trends and also applying AI-powered big data analysis to enhance inspection capabilities, great results in inspection tasks have been produced.

From 2017 to July 2023, a total of 1,190 businesses have been penalized for air pollution violations with the help of sensors and IoT, resulting in fines exceeding NT$230 million and recovery of approximately NT$280 million in unpaid air pollution fees. From 2019 to July 2023, the water quality IoT network has aided in detecting 48 incidents of illegal discharge by unscrupulous businesses, resulting in fines totaling over NT$36 million.

10,000 air pollution sensors had been deployed by 2020. On the other hand, 839 fixed, mobile, and handheld water quality sensors in total have been produced as their deployment is contingent upon flow directions of water bodies and pollution hotspots. The development of the water quality IoT network represents the first time that the EPA integrated development systems that combine sensor components, data storage, wireless transmission devices, and data applications and displays, which had also been validated as a feasible technology through on-site testing beforehand. Another demand is to meet the daily monitoring requirements of local environmental bureaus and river patrol teams. Therefore, the EPA has further developed mobile and handheld water quality sensors, based on the capability of system integration and chip sensor technology already used in fixed sensors. This development helps monitor pollution sources and potential pollution hotspots more effectively while addressing environmental education needs.

In the future, the MOENV will continue to work with the Irrigation Agency under the Ministry of Agriculture and 11 local environmental agencies, including those of Taoyuan City, Taichung City, and Yunlin County. The collaboration aims to monitor watersheds of water bodies with water quality sensors, optimize the water quality sensor database, and enhance spatiotemporal analysis and technologies identifying pollution hotspots. These efforts are geared toward maximizing the effectiveness of deployment and application of water quality sensors.

Excerpt from Major Environmental Policies, August 2023
Ministry of Environment