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Revised Standards and Rules for Environmental Impact Assessment Preannounced

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The EPA preannounced the amendments to the Standards for Determining Specific Items and Scope of Environmental Impact Assessments for Development Activities (hereafter referred to as Standards) ( 開發行為應實施環境影響評估細 目及範圍認定標準 ) and the amendments to the Environmental Impact Assessment Enforcement Rules ( 環境影響評估法施行細則 ) on 27 April 2017. The EPA also held 10 public hearings between June and August of 2017. Through this process, it used the various comments and suggestions to adjust the content of the revisions. In order to create a stronger and more thorough amendment, the EPA preannounced that it will gather opinions and further comments from a variety of fields.

The major revisions to the Standards between this draft and the previous draft are summarized below. 

1. With regards to extension of mining rights for approved areas, a revision was made to exclude oil and natural gas drilling from making use of this extension. In addition, mines that underwent an EIA within a period of ten years prior the expiration of drilling rights are not required to have an additional EIA when applying for an extension.

2. To keep in step with urban development and improvements in construction techniques, buildings 120 meters tall and above are to undergo an EIA.

3. Renewable power generation facilities with a capacity of less than 2,000 kW are not required to have an EIA; whereas thermal energy facilities with a capacity of 10,000 kW or above shall undergo an EIA. The necessity of EIAs for the extraction of hot spring water to generate thermal energy, which is then discharged back underground, will be determined by the standards regulating thermal energy. In addition, hydropower systems that use existing ditches or irrigation works, with a capacity of under 20,000 kW, are not required to undergo an EIA.

4. A new category of development to undergo EIA is added to cover camping sites located on sloped land with a developed area or cumulative developed area of one hectare or more.

Ministry of Environment