Plan Name: 2020 Chiayi County Open Burning Prevention Plan
Implementation Period: January 14, 2020 to December 31, 2020
Plan Director: Lin,Hung-Pin
Execution Staff: Plan Manager Hsu Wen-Pang, plan engineers Chen Ke-Yu, Chen Tai-Chia, and Liu Mei-Ling, along with a temporary team of 12 people during the rice harvesting period.
The Plan is named the 2020 “Chiayi County Open Burning Prevention Plan.” The goal of the Plan is to provide technical and human resources to carry out open burning inspection and control, education and promotion, and other related prevention work effectively. The end-of-period report covers the period from January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020 (including the window period from January 1, 2020 to January 13, 2020). The following is a summary of the status of each task during the execution of the Plan:
1.Prohibition and Control Operation of Open Burning
(1)According to statistics from January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020, a total of 719 open burning cases were investigated and disposed of, including 79 petitions for investigation, 388 petitions for review, 178 proactive patrol inspections and 74 referrals.
(2)The Plan tackled a total of 719 open burning cases, of which 588 were open burning cases with evidence detected on site (burning or burned out). On average, approximately 1.6 cases were reported daily. The analysis of the open burning reporting time shows that the cases were mainly reported in the afternoon (12-18 pm), accounting for 67%, followed by the morning hours (6-12 am), accounting for 28%. In addition, weekdays (530 cases) outnumbered holidays (58 cases), accounting for 90.1% and only 9.9% respectively.
(3)In terms of rural municipalities, of the 588 open burning cases discovered in the Plan, Minxiong Township had the highest number of 130 cases (22.1%), followed by Shuishang Township and Xingang Township, 89 cases (15.1%) compared with 64 cases (10.8%). The relevant information has been entered in the Geographic Information System (GIS).
(4)According to the analysis of the types of burned materials in the 588 open burning cases discovered under the Plan, residents of the County mostly burned plants_other things, with 184 cases, among which the burning of weeds on vacant land was the most common (70%), followed by the burning of tree branches and leaves (178 cases). In addition, there were as many as 151 cases of burning solid waste and urban garbage (accounting for 26% of the total discovered cases). If we cross-reference the types of burned materials to the rural municipalities, the burning of “tree branches and leaves” and the burning of “plants and other things” both ranked first in Minxiong Township, with 46 and 47 cases respectively while the burning of “solid waste_other” things was more severe in Minxiong Township (18 cases), Xingang Township (17 cases) and Shuishang Township (16 cases).
(5)By December 31, 2020, 588 open burning cases had been investigated. In 148 of these cases, the fire was directly extinguished during the burning. The total control area reached 93,871 m2, and the control volume reached 2,044 m3. The reduction of open burning by the control plan in 2020 was TSP_6191.5 kg, PM10_6156.9 kg, PM2.5_5577.1 kg, SOX _226.3 kg, and NOX _1904.2 kg.
(6)Since 2018, the Plan has been working with local environmental volunteers and colleges and universities to promote and establish open burning patrol teams. At present, the Open Burning Report Group has 78 members. A total of 171 cases had been reported to date, including 84 cases in 2020.
(7)After the first and second rice crops were harvested, the Plan conducted surveys on the movement of the rice straws (removal, reuse, tillage and burial, or open burning). A total of 68,737 surveys were completed on paddy fields (18,007.7 hectares), and 2,843 surveys were conducted on dry fields (726.9 hectares) in 2020. Most of the farmers cooperated with the decay and decomposition measures, turning the soil on their farmlands and burying the rice straws (98.9%). A total of 58 farmlands with burn marks (0.09%) were found in the two rice crops, and official letters were already sent to the landowners to clarify responsibilities for contamination. Moreover, the proportion of area without open burning reached over 99% in both rice crops, which shows that the County's control measures had been effective.
2.Open Burning E-monitoring
(1)The Plan has installed surveillance facilities at vantage points. The County originally had 8 surveillance cameras. In 2020, the Plan team assisted the County in the installation of 16 new surveillance cameras and one mobile time-lapse camera, all of which have been working. Statistics for 2020 recorded 21 open burning cases detected through the vantage-point surveillance facilities, but no perpetrators were found when inspectors arrived. Subsequently, the landowners were found through cadastral inquiry and required to explain. For more information, please refer to Section 4.3.1, Chapter 4.
(2)The unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) was deployed 13 times for patrol during the two rice crops. The areas covered by the UAV were the main rice cultivation areas in the County, including Puzi City, Taibao City, Lucao Township, Xingang Township, and Minxiong Township. One case of open burning was detected during the period.
(3)The Plan also used the satellites to spot fire points. In 2020, 55 cases were reported by the fire point information platform. Because the satellite information was not real-time, no open burning was found in 35 of the 55 reports received by the Plan despite the clear location coordinates. The detection rate decreased 12 percentage points from 2019 (48%) to 2020 (36%). It is worthwhile to bring this matter to the attention of the responsible staff at the Environmental Protection Administration and suggest that the misclassified cases of high-temperature equipment, such as combustion towers, in industrial areas should be removed to improve the detection rate.
3.Measures to Promote the Reuse of Rice Straws
(1)The Plan set up one rice straw mat weaving machine in Central Village, Minxiong Township and one in Dingcaiyuan, Xingang Township on January 29, 2019 (as shown in Figure 4.4.1-1, Page 78), and established a community rice straw mat weaving farm. At present, 30-50 rolls of rice straw mats can be produced per day. Each roll is 100 m2, about 20 kg, and the selling price is NT$500. The size and length can be customized.
(2)The Plan team visited Minxiong Township Farmers' Association on March 3, 2020 and asked the Farmers' Association to facilitate a pilot project on pineapple fields, with an area of about 200 square meters, in Minxiong Township. In the May experiment, rice straw mats were laid on top of the pineapple fields to replace the existing black net as a sun blocker, and then in early November, the experiment used rice straw mats to replace the plastic sheeting as a weed inhibitor in the bottom of the pineapple fields. After the experiments, the fruit farmers said that using rice straw mats was more laborious and time-consuming, and that the rice straw mats laid on the pineapple fields were not an effective sun blocker, rendering the fruits prone to sunburn. The rice straw mats would be displaced or even destroyed by the elements, such as wind and rain, so the pineapple farmers needed to replenish rice straws frequently. Not only the person-hour but also the relative labor cost increased. As far as the weed inhibitor is concerned, the rice straw mats in the bottom of the pineapple fields failed to suppress weed growth. Furthermore, the cost of the rice straw mat was evaluated to be three times higher than that of the original method, which lessened the willingness of farmers to use the rice straw mat and made the implementation more difficult. The Plan team turned to watermelon farmers in Shuishang Township for the same experiment, laying rice straw mats in watermelon fields to suppress weeds. The farmers indicated that the rice straw mat was not a good mulch, but that they could lay loose rice straws for watermelon vines to climb. They would collect rice straws in the nearby farmlands for repurposing by themselves.
(3)The Plan team held a seminar, “Promotion of Community Participation in the Reuse of Agricultural Waste (Rice Straws) and Demonstration of Probiotic Fertilizers”, on November 27, 2020, with 127 attendees in total. This activity disposed of rice stalks in about two hectares of farmland, reused 10,000 kg of rice straws and reduced 852 kg of air pollutant emissions. The hope was that this activity would serve as an exemplary, innovative idea when communities promote the reuse of rice straws and when construction sites lay rice straw mats in the County, developing diversified ways to recycle and reuse rice straw resources (such as the craft of rice straw weaving) to promote community participation in agricultural waste (rice straw) repurposing projects and enhance the effectiveness of agricultural waste reduction.
4.Advocacy of the Ban on Open Burning
(1)The Plan used chase lights for advocacy on cable TV in the first phase (June 21-27) and the second phase (October 25-31), broadcasting CF picture cards on cable TV stations, the Mountain Line (Shixin) and the Sea Line (Dayang), for 14 days to educate the public not to burn rice straws in the open air and publicize the practice of regulating open burning in Chiayi County.
(2)The local radio stations broadcast propaganda June 21-27, 2020 before the first rice crop harvest and October 25-31, 2020 before the second rice crop harvest. The propaganda tape, recorded by the County Mayor, was broadcast on “Chengsheng Chiayi Radio”, “Yunjia Radio”, “Sister Radio” and “Police Radio” for a total of 14 days. On June 18, 2020, a special interview was arranged with the Bureau Director on the topic of illegal open burning to educate the public not to burn rice straws in the open air and publicize the practice of regulating open burning in the County.
(3)During the rice crop harvesting periods, the propaganda broadcasting vehicles targeted the locations where open burning was common and broadcast along the streets and at fixed spots in various towns, including temples, village offices and community centers, where farmers tended to gather. The hazards of open burning and the related laws and regulations and penalties for open burning were explained in the form of promotional videos. Promotional leaflets were also distributed on site. The 14 promotional sessions received a total of 109 people, and the propaganda broadcasting vehicles travelled a total of 304 kilometers.
(4)Affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the ten "Yes to the Reuse of Rice Straws, No to Open Burning" awareness-raising sessions for farmers' associations and farming communities were held on August 4, 19, 25; September 22, 30; and October 6, 8, 14, 16, 28, 2020 in the main rice growing areas of Minxiong Township, Dalin Township, Xikou Township, Shuishang Township, Budai Township, Lucao Township, Puzi City, Taibao City, and Xingang Township. The total number of attendees reached 813.
(5)The Plan held campus talks to explain the hazards of open burning to the environment. After consulting with several schools, considering the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we held five talks on September 21, 22, 23 and October 16, 26, 2020 at colleges and universities in towns where open burning was common, including Minxiong Township, Dalin Township and Liujiao Township. The total number of attendees was 672.
(6)Local actress Mi Ke-Bai was invited to film a 3-minute video to advise against burning waste in the open air. The video has been uploaded to YouTube and the Bureau's website for the public to view, and it was also played at the awareness-raising meetings and by the propaganda broadcasting vehicles to inform the public.
5.Other Complementary Tasks
(1)The Plan sent out two warning notices on May 28, 2020 (before the first rice harvest) and September 28, 2020 (before the second rice harvest), respectively. A total of 236 notices were sent out.
(2)On June 13 and 20, 2020, the Plan held 2 campaign against open burning in conjunction with the Bureau's sensor program.
(3)The Plan received instructions from the county government on August 14, 2020. Since the Google satellite map did not provide the current year's images, the Plan assisted the county government in understanding the current situation of the development areas by taking aerial photos of the County's planned development areas, and then producing top views as needed. The production of top views was highly professional and technical, and therefore, after many discussions, the team first used a drone to preset the route, then took hundreds of aerial photos by surveying and mapping, and finally post-produced and synthesized the photos by professional software. A total of one aerial photography task was completed.
(4)In accordance with the Bureau's instructions, an information meeting on the “Penalty Guidelines for Violation of the Air Pollution Control Act by Stationary Sources of Pollution” was held on October 19, 2020, mainly for the training of our section and office staff. The meeting elucidated the contents of the Guidelines for imposing fines, revised and promulgated by the Environmental Protection Administration on June 10, 2020, and explained the trial calculation of fines. The Guidelines are the basis for local environmental protection authorities to determine the amount of the fine to be imposed. The total number of attendees was 26.