This year’s project is divided into four parts, which includes the review of environmental agent product registrations, management practices, maintenance of online managing system, and promotional events of environmental agents.
This year, a total of 356 applications for environmental agent registrations with 3,566 copies of required documents were submitted to Taiwan EPA. All applications were reviewed and approved within the project deadline. And in order to enhance review works, a principle was created to examine the submitted documents.
As to developing management practices of environmental agents, we continued to study environmental agent stewardship in different countries so as to understand the global trend better. In this year’s project, we have included case studies of 10 countries. We collected and analyzed information regarding the competent authorities of pest control, the regulatory framework, environmental agent products registration process, permits for manufacturers and pest control operators, and regulations of genetically engineered microbial preparations in the 10 countries. Moreover, we also studied domestic regulations of agro-pesticides and compared them to the regulations of foreign countries. And we were able to derive 8 suggestions to help policy-makers revise the “Working Standards for Environmental Agent Permit Application and Issuance”.
This year, 2 seminars were conducted to address the regulations of microbial preparations. Scholars and experts were invited to discuss the introduction of Wolbachia into regulations. A draft regarding the selection criteria of environmental agents for pollution control was also proposed.
Taiwan EPA sent delegations to China and Singapore in September and November this year to learn about the management approaches of environmental agents and pest control operators. The delegations visited the competent authorities, pest control operators, environmental agent manufacturers and sellers. The trips provided great opportunities to understand the regulations of environmental agents in China and Singapore.
This year, a total of 12 on-site surveys were conducted at certain laboratories, where environmental products are sent to test their drug efficacies. Moreover, in response to the latest law amendments on pest control operators, on-site surveys were conducted at pest control operator training centers. This was the first time for Taiwan EPA to conduct such on-site surveys on training centers. The goals of on-site surveys were to collect information and give counseling services to the centers. A total of 12 on-site surveys were conducted at the training centers this year.
The online managing system was upgraded regularly throughout the year to enhance environmental agent stewardship. For instance, 5 functions and 1 interface for the web administrators, and 4 functions for users of the online managing system have been modified to increase efficiency in regulating environmental agents. A new function, which allows users to renew the registration of natural repellents, was added to the system. In addition, the product label search engine was modified to create a more user-friendly interface. Lastly, in order to be in accordance with the law amendments, post-operation records were also modified to contain more information, which allows Taiwan EPA to keep track on pest control operations, as well as the number of environmental agents manufactured, imported, sold, and used within the year.
In order to promote the latest law amendments and system updates, a seminar was held for environmental agent manufacturers and pest control operators. A total of 143 people joined the seminar with an average satisfaction rate of 91.5%. In addition, 12 sessions were conducted to introduce the new functions of the online managing system to businesses; and 1 session was conducted to local EPBs. A total of 718 participants joined the sessions. They were generally satisfied with the content of the sessions, with an average satisfaction rate of 85.5% from business and 88.5% from local EPBs. Participants were asked to fill up questionnaires regarding the performance of the system at the end of the sessions. These questionnaires served as a valuable reference for modifying the managing system. As for general users of pesticides, we have been updating the promotional website on a regular basis. Users can easily find information on safe purchases and uses for pesticides. The promotional events have been helpful in implementing Taiwan EPA’s goal to protect the environment and safeguard people’s health