On 22 March 2023, the EPA announced the amended Standards for Determining Specific Items and Scope for Environmental Impact Assessments of Development Activities (開發行為應實施環境影響評估細目及範圍認定標準). The revisions, including those to Article 46, table 6, were made in order to achieve better implementation in accordance with relevant laws and regulations, after considering suggestions provided by various agencies and following a review of ambiguities in actual practices.
The standards have undergone 13 amendments since they were first announced in 1995. This amendment was made in accordance with relevant laws and regulations after considering suggestions provided by various agencies and following a review of ambiguities in actual practices. Revisions include: amending certain contents in the standards; Article 46, table 6; Article 12, table 1 of the Environmental Impact Assessment Enforcement Rules (環境影響評估法施行細則). Amendments were also made to item 1, table 1 and table 2, mandating environmental impact assessments (EIAs) on lands owned by Taiwan Sugar Corporation (TSC), where building of factories, or establishment or expansion of industrial zones, may have adverse environmental impacts.
- EIAs are exempted for maintenance dredging for the purpose of safe vessel passage and regular port and harbor operations.
- Seawater desalination facilities are considered for emergency use in times of drought and are to be shut down for future use after the drought relief is no longer needed. Construction of seawater desalination plants or expansion of treatment capacity, deemed measures for immediate drought relief, are exempted from EIAs after approval from the industrial competent authority.
- For wind turbines, there are concerns that noise, flicker effects, and other impacts may exist for nearby residents even if the straight-line distance between the center of the wind turbine base and the nearest building boundary is more than 250 meters. In regard to this and with references from overseas research, EIAs are now mandated if the straight-line distance between the center of any wind turbine base and the nearest building boundary is under 500 meters.
- For mixed industrial/commercial districts, large shopping centers, and exhibition, fair, or trade show venues, EIA determination standards shall depend on the size of the overall development area. An EIA is required if the aforementioned developments are located in reservoir watersheds.
- EIA regulations concerning cable cars have undergone revisions, taking into consideration that development of cable cars creates smaller environmental impacts in comparison to construction of other transportation infrastructure.
- New categories of development activities have been added. For establishing national launch sites under the Space Development Act (太空發展法), EIAs are mandated if the size or cumulative size of the developments stated in the application is ten hectares or more.
- New categories of development activities have been added in response to the “determination standards” mentioned above. Regarding establishment of national launch sites under the Space Development Act, the EPA is added as the agency in charge of EIAs as well as supervision of competent authorities based on the Environmental Impact Assessment Enforcement Rules, Article 12, table 1.
Additionally, the revisions to item 1, table 1 and table 2 under the announcement pertaining to installation of factories, or construction or expansion of industrial zones on TSC-owned lands, EIAs are mandated if there are potential adverse environmental impacts. TSC has reexamined registration numbers of all properties listed in the announcement’s tables 1 and 2 and found that some lots are categorized as urban land or Type-D construction land, which also have been set for railway use. In addition, all current properties within TSC factories, factories that have been shut down, headquarters of all divisions, industrial zones, residential areas, commercial areas, or areas specified for storage and transshipment, are not designated for agricultural use. The Council of Agriculture of the Executive Yuan has further confirmed that all properties provided by TSC are not to be used for agriculture. The announcement has thus undergone revisions, with one piece of property removed from table 1 and 152 properties removed from table 2.
Excerpt from Major Environmental Policies, March 2023
- Ministry of Environment