This project's main task consisted of assisting the EPA strengthen the capabilities of the domestic toxic chemical accident prevention and response system by helping maintain the operations of the Northern Taiwan Environmental Incident Response Team and coordinate the establishment of toxic chemical accident joint prevention response support teams.
During this year, the Northern Taiwan Environmental Incident Response Team continued to maintain the accident response teams it had established in Taipei, Yilan, and Hsinchu. These teams were responsible for an area including Taipei city and county, Keelung City, Yilan County, Hualien County, Taoyuan County, Hsinchu city and county, Miaoli County, and Lienchiang County, and conducted a total of 58 on-site response operations, responded to 34 accidents, and maintained a 100% one-hour arrival rate, which met the requirement of environmental incident response teams established by the EPA. With regard to its routine work, the Northern Taiwan Environmental Incident Response Team helped the Bureau of Environmental Protection complete the review of 105 toxic chemical accident hazard prevention and emergency response plans, and held 12 meetings to explain laws and regulations, as will as three joint operation meetings with the EPA's Inspection Team, two mobilization seminars, two joint prevention committee group training sessions, 100 in-plant assistance visits, 45 no-early-warning tests, 40 exercise/training sessions for local environmental authorities and implementation of full-mobilization, anti-terror, and environmental incident exercises and armed forces promotion services on behalf of the EPA, and one expert and agency case review conference. As for analysis of major hazards involving toxic chemical substances at firms within the team's area of jurisdiction, the team has finalized methodologies, collected data of 1038 premises at which toxic chemical substances were handled, and held eighteen countyl city expert meetings. Furthermore, in order to upgrade domestic toxic chemical accident response technology and acquire international experience, experts from the U.S. company DuPont were invited to Taiwan The Northern Taiwan Environmental Incident Response Team's support group continued to coordinate the establishment of industrial toxic chemical accident joint prevention response teams, and participated in eleven operations and training exercises.
The growth in the number of controlled toxic chemical substances has entailed a gradual diversification in accident prevention and response needs for all concerned parties. We expected that the implementation of this plan could result in a major reduction in the time needed for environmental incident response teams to arrive at accidents, which could give a substantial boost to the domestic disaster prevention and relief system and reduce the dispersal of pollution after accidents. Furthermore, we expectd that our efforts to prevent and reduce the incidence of accidents could effectively decrease the occurrence of toxic chemical accidents, reduce financial losses and harm to humans and the environment, and fulfill the EPA's policy of protecting the environment and preventing/mitigating accidents and hazards.