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Institutional barriers to effective environmental policy in a newly industrialized country : a case study… Kinne, Beth Ellen 2001

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Institutional Barriers to Effective Environmental Policy in a Newly Industrialized Country: A Case Study of Water Pollution Policy in Taiwan by B E T H E L L E N K I N N E B . A . , University o f Virginia, 1996 A T H E S I S S U B M I T T E D I N P A R T I A L F U L F I L L M E N T O F T H E R E Q U I R E M E N T S F O R T H E D E G R E E OF M A S T E R O F S C I E N C E in T H E F A C U L T Y O F G R A D U A T E S T U D I E S (Department o f Resource Management and Environmental S tud ie s ) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard. U N I V E R S I T Y OF B R I T I S H C O L U M B I A September 2001 © B e t h E . Kirrne, 2001 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfillment o f the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head o f my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of R e s a q r c c T^CLno^cmr/n" A / A A f.nvWonmtrikdL The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date /)? InJOl Abstract Environmental policy is increasingly important to economic and social stability and ecosystem and human welfare worldwide. Rapid changes in technology, industrial processes and social consumption patterns effect changes in the nature of pollution, adding to the difficulty o f designing appropriate policies. Environmental institutions in developing and newly industrialized countries like Taiwan are often young and ill-equipped to promote innovative development and implementation o f effective environmental policy. The role o f industry-regulator dialogue, independence o f the regulatory body from industry interests, information access, and the degree o f public involvement in the environmental policy process all effect a country's potential to develop effective environmental policy. In this research I used water pollution policy as a starting point to examine the current institutional framework supporting environmental policy in Taiwan with the goal of determining which factors inhibit innovation which factors might allow for positive change in environmental policy. In addition, Hsinchu County, Hsinchu City and the Hsinchu Science-based Industrial Park (HSIP) were chosen as the focus of study in an attempt to evaluate the ability o f Taiwan's current environmental policy regime to cope with the growing threat o f high-tech pollution. Research was carried out through personal interviews in Taiwan with HSIP industry representatives, Environmental Protection Administration representatives, academic researchers, environmental reporters, environmental consultant firms and environmental N G O s . The interviews were supplemented with collected reports on water pollution and industrial pollution research in Taiwan. Analysis o f the data led to the conclusion that institutional weaknesses that reduce the independence o f the regulatory body from industry, hinder information flow between researchers, industry and government, and prevent participation o f the public in the environmental policy process impede development o f innovative environmental policy in Taiwan. However, Taiwan has many strengths that are beginning to show promise in promoting the development o f an institutional environment conducive to innovative design and application o f water pollution policy and environmental policy in general. i i Table of Contents A B S T R A C T ii T A B L E O F C O N T E N T S iii L I S T O F F I G U R E S A N D T A B L E S vi A C K N O W L E D G M E N T S yy 1 I N T R O D U C T I O N 1 C H A P T E R 1: T H E P O T E N T I A L O F E N V I R O N M E N T A L P O L I C Y 4 1.1 T H E I N C R E A S I N G P R O M I N E N C E O F E N V I R O N M E N T A L P O L I C Y 4 1.2 R E S E A R C H S C O P E , G O A L S A N D M E T H O D S 13 C H A P T E R 2 T H E P O T E N T I A L O F A C O M P R E H E N S I V E E N V I R O N M E N T A L P O L I C Y 17 2.1 W O R K I N G W I T H A N D B E Y O N D T H E P R E V A I L I N G C U L T U R E A N D R E G U L A T O R Y S T R U C T U R E 18 2 . 2 I N T E R D I S C I P L I N A R Y S C O P E W I T H M E A N I N G F U L B O U N D A R I E S 1 9 2 .3 E Q U I T Y A N D C O O P E R A T I O N I N D E V E L O P M E N T A N D R E G U L A T I O N 2 0 2 . 4 C O N T E X T - S P E C I F I C P R E S C R I P T I O N , E M P H A S I Z I N G A D A P T A T I O N A N D P R E V E N T I O N 2 1 C H A P T E R 3 T A I W A N , W A T E R P O L L U T I O N A N D H I G H T E C H I N D U S T R Y 25 3.1 W H Y T A I W A N 2 5 3 .2 T H E I M P O R T A N C E O F W A T E R 3 1 i i i 3.3 T H E S T A T E O F T H E W A T E R I N T A I W A N 3 2 3 .4 T H E H S I N C H U S C I E N C E - B A S E D I N D U S T R I A L P A R K 3 6 3 .5 I N D U S T R I A L W A T E R U S E A N D H I G H - T E C H P O L L U T I O N 3 8 C H A P T E R 4: E N V I R O N M E N T A L P O L I C Y I N T A I W A N 43 4.1 A B R I E F H I S T O R Y 4 3 4 . 2 W A T E R P O L L U T I O N P O L I C Y I N T A I W A N 4 5 4 .3 T A I W A N A S C O M P L A C E N T N O N - I N N O V A T O R 4 6 C H A P T E R 5: A N A L Y S I S O F I N S T I T U T I O N S 50 5.1 G O V E R N M E N T A G E N C I E S W I T H E N V I R O N M E N T A L J U R I S D I C T I O N 5 3 5 .2 R E S E A R C H I N S T I T U T I O N S 5 7 5.3 N O N - G O V E R N M E N T A L E N T I T I E S W I T H E N V I R O N M E N T A L I N F L U E N C E 6 0 5.4 O V E R L A P P I N G J U R I S D I C T I O N S A N D C O N F L I C T I N G M A N D A T E S 6 5 5.5 R E P O R T I N G R E S E A R C H A N D S E C U R I N G F U N D I N G 7 3 5 .6 C U L T U R A L C O N S T R A I N T S A N D L O C A L P O L I T I C S 7 4 5 .7 I N S T I T U T I O N A L C A P A C I T Y 7 7 C H A P T E R 6: I M P R O V I N G W A T E R P O L L U T I O N P O L I C Y I N T A I W A N 97 6.1 M O V I N G T O W A R D S R E S P O N S I B L E I N N O V A T I O N 9 7 6 .2 A N A T I O N A L W A T E R P R O T E C T I O N P L A N A N D E N V I R O N M E N T A L P L A N 9 9 6 .2 T H E P R O B L E M W I T H V O L U N T A R Y A G R E E M E N T S 101 6 .4 T H E R O L E O F I N F O R M A T I O N - B A S E D P R O G R A M S 1 0 3 6.5 K E E P I N G T H E B A L A N C E W I T H P U B L I C P A R T I C I P A T I O N 1 0 4 6 .6 A D D I T I O N A L F A C T O R S I N F L U E N C I N G P O L I C Y I N N O V A T I O N 1 0 7 iv 6 .7 R E C O N C I L I N G D O M E S T I C A N D I N T E R N A T I O N A L P R E S S U R E S 1 1 0 6 .8 C O N C L U S I O N S 1 1 3 S O U R C E S C I T E D 116 A P P E N D I X I T A I W A N E P A S T R U C T U R E , 1 2 4 A P P E N D I X I I I N D U S T R I A L P A R K S I N T A I W A N 1 2 5 A P P E N D I X I I I M A P O F N O R T H E R N T A I W A N 1 2 6 A P P E N D I X I V R E P O R T I N G O F E N V I R O N M E N T A L N U I S A N C E C O M P L A I N T S 1 2 7 v List of Figures and Tables F I G U R E 4.1 I N D U S T R I A L I N N O V A T I O N M A T R I X 4 7 T A B L E 4.1 C H A R A C T E R I S T I C S O F Q U A D R A N T S I N T H E I N N O V A T I O N M A T R I X 4 8 T A B L E 5.1 M A J O R O R G A N I Z A T I O N S T H A T P L A Y A R O L E I N W A T E R P O L L U T I O N P O L I C Y . . . 5 2 F I G U R E 5.1 A G E N C I E S W I T H J U R I S D I C T I O N O V E R W A T E R M A N A G E M E N T 6 8 T A B L E 5 .2 S U M M A R Y O F B A R R I E R S T O D E V E L O P M E N T O F E N V I R O N M E N T A L P O L I C Y . . . 9 2 - 9 5 F I G U R E 6.1 N A T I O N A L E N V I R O N M E N T A L P L A N S A N D V O L U N T A R Y A G R E E M E N T S 9 8 F I G U R E 6 .2 N A T I O N A L E N V I R O N M E N T A L P L A N S A N D P U B L I C P A R T I C I P A T I O N 1 0 5 vi Acknowledgments I would like to thank the many people enabled the writing of this thesis, without whom I would not have been able to complete the research or the writing. Firstly, my supervisor, Dr. Pitman Potter, for taking on a student from outside either o f the departments with which he is officially affiliated, and for his interest in and appreciation for the many facets o f the environmental crisis in Asia . I would also like to thank Dr. Leslie Lavkulich for encouraging me to pursue a topic that would combine my interests natural science, policy, and Mandarin. The remaining three members o f my committee were no less instrumental. M r . Shengchong (Sam) L i n generously provided me with crucial contacts for interviews and data collection in Taiwan, as well as access to his personal library and a historical perspective on water pollution problems in Taiwan. Dr. James Wang offered invaluable critique o f the interview methods and proofread the Mandarin versions o f the interview questions. Dr . Michael L e a f s careful criticism o f a late draft encouraged me to look at the problem from another perspective. I also owe special thanks to Ted Smith and the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition for allowing me to attend their meetings between the environmental N G O s o f Hsinchu and representatives o f the Hsinchu Science-based Technology Park. Also integral to this effort were all those who agreed to be interviewed, and those who lead me to new interview subjects. In addition to the people who helped in an academic capacity, I would like to thank those who aided my research in a personal capacity: Wang M u l i n and L u Shuzhen in Taipei, L u Jianyi in Hsinchu, and Chen Shuling in Tainan for opening their homes to me, and lending me bicycles and motor scooters when I needed them; and Darrin Magee, who in addition to being wil l ing to spend many mealtimes discussing environmental issues in Taiwan, frequently came to my aid when I found myself lost in the translation o f Taiwanese reports and documents. To these people I owe a great debt. Their generosity allowed me to spend more of my energy on actual research than would otherwise have been possible. As thanks to them, I commit myself to offering this essential support to others throughout the course o f my life v i i Introduction Environmental institutions in developing and newly industrialized countries like Taiwan are often young and ill-equipped to promote development and implementation o f innovative and effective environmental policy. Using the Hsinchu Science-based Industrial Park as a case study, this research examined the institutional strengths and weaknesses affecting the development of innovative water pollution policy within the ecological limitations and complex sociopolitical context o f Taiwan. The importance o f industry-regulator dialogue, political independence o f the regulator from industry, ease of information access and exchange, and degree o f public participation in the policy process play significant roles in the innovative design and implementation o f effective water pollution policy. Taiwan has many institutional weaknesses that have inhibited the development o f these characteristics, but it has also many strengths, which i f nurtured, have potential to improve the efficacy o f water pollution policy and the quality o f life for the Taiwanese people. Environmental policy as an academic field and a practical discipline is developing rapidly in response to the increase in conflicts resulting from competing demands for increasingly scarce natural resources coupled with a growing awareness o f the threat of negative, i f not deleterious effect of irreversible environmental change on human beings. Environmental policy necessarily includes social, economic, security, and international policy studies under a unifying umbrella o f preservation o f the current and future capacity o f the earth to support the life forms that make up its current population. Environmental threats are especially acute in developing and newly industrialized countries that are undergoing rapid technological and economic change that both depends upon and enables more intensive use o f environmental resources in the broadest sense o f the term. Within this context o f rapid change, environmental policy is particularly necessary in order to prevent degradation o f resources and environmental services to the impediment of ecosystem stability or human health. 1 In this thesis I w i l l address briefly the growing role of environmental policy in mitigating the impacts of industrialization and globalization, and look at some o f the most important factors influencing the effectiveness of environmental policy. Then I w i l l move to a description o f the study area, the newly industrialized country o f Taiwan, and more specifically Hsinchu county and Hsinchu city, site o f the Hsinchu Science-based Industrial Park (HSIP). The HSIP is controversial: It was a key component of a top-down plan which rapidly and successfully moved Taiwan out o f the low tech and into the high tech export market, but has created some poorly understood and potentially serious environmental pollution problems for the surrounding community and coastal fishery. Furthermore, Taiwan and other Asian countries are planning high-tech industrial parks on the HSIP model. In light o f this, the development o f innovative approaches in environmental policy, and especially water pollution policy, is important to mitigate the ecological and human health impacts on a densely populated country that is increasingly dependent on high-tech industry and facing exposure to a diverse and changing cocktail o f high-tech industrial chemicals. Using an adapted version of an analytical framework first published by David Wallace o f The Royal Institute of International Affairs in his book, Environmental Policy and Industrial Innovation: Strategies in Europe, the US and Japan (Earthscan Publications, 1995), I wi l l argue that Taiwan is currently not implementing innovative environmental policies, and suggest that institutional barriers that are at fault. A description o f the main institutional players in the environmental policy arena w i l l be followed by an analysis o f their strengths and weaknesses as evaluated against three criteria: 1) promotion o f quality dialogue between industry and regulatory body; 2) promotion o f political independence of the regulatory body from industrial interests; and 3) promotion o f inclusion o f the public (defined as parties who are affected by a given policy) in the policy development dialogue In conclusion, I w i l l suggest how Taiwan might utilize its institutional strengths and improve upon the weaknesses to increase innovation in environmental policy 2 development and achieve some o f the goals for effective environmental policy that were set out in the foundation o f the thesis. 3 "The environment is likely to be for the next century what ideology was for this one." Uday Desai, Ecological Policy and Politics in Developing Countries, 1998. Chapter 1: The Potential of Environmental Policy 1.1 The Increasing Prominence of Environmental Policy Environmental policy may become one of the most important areas o f policy research in the 21 s t century. Virtually every country in the world established institutions to control pollution in the latter half o f the 20 t h century (Esty and Mendelsohn 1998). National agendas are putting greater emphasis on environment, international agreements are coming under increased scrutiny for their environmental impacts, and political parties are being elected around the world on environmental in addition to economic and social platforms. Indeed the energy, human capital and funds devoted towards environmental issues w i l l likely far exceed that which the West previously devoted to supporting the ideological superiority of democratic capitalism over communism. The threats o f loss o f environmental services and the exhaustion o f natural resources cross geopolitical and national borders, affecting domestic stability as well as national and regional security. The environmental debate revolves around discrepancies in political and economic ideology and practical management approaches. These are fueled by the large degree o f uncertainty about the complex causal relationships in the natural world and human social sphere and the strength o f ecological resilience, and wide variation in confidence in the potential for human ingenuity to compensate for ecological transgressions caused by human activity. This debate has become a global issue, encompassing political and economic relationships within and among countries and regions in a complex web o f inequities in cause and impact (Elliot 1998). Every region on the planet is experiencing environmental degradation, even those far from centers of human civilization, and there is the realization that there are few frontiers left 4 into which to push the detritus of the ever-growing appetite o f human consumption. There is increasing social cognizance of the reality that human activity is having negative impacts on the supporting environment, evidenced by an expansion in the human and financial resources spent to understand the extent and nature o f this impact. However, the actions o f individuals, communities and nations continue to provide more environmental crises than government agencies and environmental and human rights groups can address. There is a growing demand for political leadership and logistical mechanisms for managing growth and waste to limit impact on the earth's ability to provide environmental services without denying a large portion o f the world a safe and comfortable lifestyle. Strong environmental policy potentially offers a means o f protecting the natural resources and health o f ecosystems, thereby making possible the fulfillment o f the most basic o f human needs and safeguarding the long-range health and sustainability o f a myriad o f things, from fish stocks to urban landscapes to national economies. Environmental policy also offers potential compensation for the lack o f whole system accounting that characterizes economic policy as practiced to date. Historical Context Although environmental policy grew in part out o f the philosophy o f conservation and the conservation movement, it is substantially different. With its roots in the writings o f Aldo Leopold's A Sand County Almanac, and the work o f historical figures such as Henry David Thoreau, John Mui r and David Brower, the conservation movement centers around appreciation for and preservation o f wilderness areas and biodiversity for the sake of the enjoyment o f these assets by present and future generations. The conservation movement entails a degree o f conservatism, promoting stability, endurance, and change within an organic structure (Connelly and Smith 1999). Environmental policy is certainly influenced by this tradition, and there is a great deal o f overlap between the mission o f the conservation movement and that o f the environmental movement. However, the latter has been heavily guided by the comparatively recent concept of sustainability, and is more closely focused on 5 the legal and political steps necessary to ensure sustainability given the current understanding o f ecological and social relationships. The sustainability concept grew out o f the realization of and subsequent concern for increasing levels o f pollution and resource extraction and depletion (Helm 2000). In 1987, the report by the World Commission on Environment and Development entitled Our Common Future, commonly known as the Brundtland Report, brought attention to the role o f the international economy and state leadership in addressing issues o f sustainable development, including management of human resources and population distribution, food and energy production, ecosystem preservation, natural resource consumption, international peace, and national security. The Brundtland Report defined sustainability as "development that meets the needs o f the present without compromising the ability o f future generations to meet their own needs" with respect to both biophysical and social components ( W C E D 1987). This is a powerful concept in spite o f its vagueness, and currently informs projects and policy throughout the world. However, few governments have even attempted to close the gap between the idea o f sustainability and a pragmatic definition and means o f implementation of a sustainable society. In reaction to the pro - environment philosophies, a counter movement mobilized. The environmental opposition found an ally in the dominant cornmitment o f national governments and individuals to economic development (Hayes 2000). The eventual evolution o f a roughly two-sided debate pitted environmental groups against industry, with both vying for the support o f government. In some cases, which came to be known as "bootleggers and Baptists" alliances 1, industry found the positions of environmental groups actually favored them competitively, and therefore signed on in support o f "environmental" legislation (Honadle 1999; Anderson 2000). A s the complexity o f the issues in the environmental debates increases, it becomes more difficult to determine which parties and 1 Both bootleggers and Baptists favored prohibition, one for economic, the other for moral reasons. This term is used to describe a perverse collaboration between groups whose ideologies or larger goals are incompatible. 6 which actions are actually making headway in protecting ecological resources, especially considering how poorly we understand the fragility or resilience o f those resources. Environmental Policy as a Policy Field In the preface to Environmental Impact Assessment for Developing Countries, (Biswas and Qu 1986), is a statement that supports the growing interest in environmental policy worldwide. "It is now generally recognized that it is both desirable and essential to pursue the short- and long-term developmental goals while simultaneously ensuring sound environmental management. Without such explicit consideration of environmental impacts, it is highly unlikely that the developments undertaken can be sustainable over a long-term basis. Past experiences from all over the world reinforce this fact." The subject o f the environment has gained a political presence that is not likely to go away, and political parties are starting to be forced by voters to pay more attention to issues o f sustainability, environmental justice, and international environmental treaties. B y the early 1970's, most o f the developed world already had basic environmental policy planning structures in place, having realized the impact o f industrialization on their societies (Caldwell 1971). B y the end o f the 1990s, these countries also had a significant environmental policy presence, evidenced by resource use plans, pollution laws and enforcement regimes. Developing countries were soon to follow suit: A 1988 letter from the Bishops o f A S E A N recognized the dire ecological circumstances in Southeast As ia and called for a regional environmental task force (Clad 1988), Bulgaria ratified its National Environmental Protection Act in 1991, 2 and by the late 1990s, Green political parties had developed in 2 Bulgaria Environmental Protection Act at http://www.asser.nl/EEL/ceec/bulg_epa.htm 6/3/01. 7 Romania, Slovakia, the Czech Republic 3 (2001a), Mongolia (in 1990), Iran (in 1999) and Taiwan (in 1996) 4. The increase in attention to environmental threats and the social acceptance of sustainability as a desirable, though elusive, goal set the stage for the reception o f environmental policy as a legitimate policy field. Although a comparative newcomer to the traditional policy scholarship, "environmental policy is not just an addition to the traditional political science arenas such as economic, health, security and defense, and trade, but encompasses all these and others." (Caldwell 1995). While the comprehensive scope o f environmental policy is reflected in the high amount o f public interest it generates, its newness to the policy realm is reflected by its lack o f political clout in local and national government decisions. Designing environmental policy requires an attempt to understand, predict, and manage people and resources, faced with multiple factors, great uncertainty, and potentially great social and ecological consequences. There is a need for new skill development in order to support the study and the development o f sound environmental policy worldwide. Industrialization, Globalization and Environmental Policy Advances in technology are increasing the capacity of individuals and nations to affect other people who are distant from us geographically or even temporally. In the words o f Lyndon K . Caldwell, one o f the first political scientists to receive great attention for policy study specifically concentrated on the environment, "We have both the occasion and the means to make bigger, more disastrous, and more irremediable environmental mistakes than ever in the past" (Caldwell 1995). However, our understanding o f how we alter the biophysical world, our appreciation for this relatively newfound magnitude o f power, and especially our ability to predict multiple consequences o f single actions, still lags behind. Furthermore, the development o f adequate policies to govern human impacts on the world is hindered by gaps 3 European Greens Membership List http://www.europeangreens.org/members.html 112/01 4 Taiwan, Iran, and Mongolia Green Party homepages can all be found on-line. 8 in understanding o f ecological and social causes o f environmental destruction. A major task o f environmental policy is to begin to f i l l the gaps by linking, both philosophically and operationally, the actions of humans, governments, and corporations to the resultant impacts on the biophysical world, and the subsequent impacts o f the altered biophysical world on humans, governments, and corporations. Environmental policy design entails utilizing what knowledge we have gathered from past experience to reduce the deleterious effects o f our activity, and doing this within a relevant time frame. The use of natural resources and subsequent modification of the biochemical and geophysical world has both local and global implications. Issues such as ozone depletion and global warming illustrate the wide-ranging consequences o f aggregated localized actions and the local implications of global trends, necessitating that nations consider the effects o f both the environmental pressures under their control and those that are far from their direct power o f influence. Local manifestations o f increased consumption and pollution include loss o f biodiversity, loss of species and ecosystem resiliency as is seen in areas o f heavily logged rainforest, heavily fished oceans, and heavily polluted waterways around the globe. Although there may be significant time lags between environmental deterioration and documented impacts on humans, examples of the connection can be found throughout history and worldwide. The spreading o f vector-born diseases allowed by deforestation in Africa, and the increased rates o f asthma and lung maladies in the United States, China, Taiwan, and Japan in areas o f high air pollution resulting from motor vehicle exhaust, incinerators and chemical releases5 are only a few of the many examples o f negative effects of environmental alteration and degradation on human health. Direct impacts on humans include economic instability, more rapid spread o f disease, and increased susceptibility to climatic changes and natural disasters. 3 See Health Effects o f A i r Pollution website by at http://www.psr.org/breathe.htm for U S cases; Huddle, et al 1987 for cases in Japan, and the Meineng People's Association at www.mpa.org.tw for a recent case in southern Taiwan. 9 Likewise, the effect o f a given environmental policy is not necessarily limited to the nation or region in which it is implemented. Restrictions on resource harvesting or pollution in one area might increase environmental consequences in another. In the case of high tech industry in the United States, increasingly strict water consumption and emissions controls in affluent and highly polluted communities like Sil icon Valley have resulted in migrations of semiconductor plants to Asia , Latin America, and states desperate for job creation like Arizona and N e w Mexico. In response to this, many states have standardized regulations across state borders in order to prevent companies from leaving an area where they are being forced to reduce emissions only to pollute their next destination (Mazurek 1999). The existence o f long temporal and spatial lags between cause and effect increases the difficulty of designing and assessing environmental policy, but the threat of irremediable damage o f ecosystems, and socially and economically expensive impacts on human health, is significant enough to warrant the attention o f political leaders, scholars, and grassroots organizations. Environmental Policy in Developing and Newly Industrialized Countries The latter portion of the 21 s t century has been an age o f rapid globalization, which is most clearly evident in the great efforts by firms originating in industrialized countries to set up production facilities in developing countries. In this context a developing country is one that offers cheap labor, cheap resources, and tax incentives in return for technology transfer, employment opportunities, and the resultant rapid economic growth and chance to create future domestic spin-offs. These traits have drawn foreign investors to countries o f Latin America, Africa, and Asia , whose governments are under pressure to emulate the economic productivity o f western countries (Kamieniecki and Sanasarian 1990 ). The positive effects o f this type o f development on the G N P o f a developing country are rapid and significant, as are often the negative environmental impacts. In the case of Taiwan, the United States exported great numbers of "dirty" industries to the island in the 1950s and 1960s, including lead battery recycling and chemical manufacture (Chan 1993). Discrepancies in economic development, social awareness, and internal power distribution between the two countries made possible what was effectively an export of pollution from the developed to the developing world. 10 Today, Taiwan and North America are both playing the role o f pollution vendor, exporting to China their dirtiest and most labor-intensive industries, such as scrap metal and plastics recycling. 6 China welcomes these industries because they simultaneously create jobs and provide local industry with raw or semi-processed materials. Developed countries benefit from these arrangements environmentally and economically because they sell or give away their waste, reducing the costs o f landfill construction and maintenance. The waste becomes a transfer instead of an emission on federal and state records o f waste disposal, reducing the opportunities for negative publicity and damage to the image of firms, especially those that produce large amounts of waste or highly toxic waste. Developing countries benefit from capital investment, job creation, and in cases such as recycling plants in China, the provision of much needed raw materials for their own developing manufacturing industries. Strong local environmental policies have the potential to reduce the impact on lesser developed countries on this type of industrial colonization and waste transfer by ensuring that workers and residents are aware o f and protected from the negative aspects o f offloading of dirty industries by developed countries. Environmental Policy and Human Rights Environmental policy is closely related to the C i v i l Rights and Human Rights movements (EPA, U.S.) . This is especially true when environmental policies are called to address issues of environmental justice. Due to unequal distribution o f technology and wealth, and scarcity of natural resources, environmental issues necessarily coincide with human rights issues. Persecution and discrimination are increasingly seen in international as well as domestic distribution o f environmental hazards. Statistical studies in the United States have shown a high positive correlation between the location o f severe environmental hazards, whether they be of industrial, military, or municipal origin, and communities that are low income and non-6 Companies such as Tai Tung, Inc. export many containers o f scrap annually to China for recycling; by the year 2001, Taiwan had moved all motherboard production to China. 11 Caucasian in ethnicity (Bullard 1990). A s described in the previous section, this trend can be seen on an international level as well , with poorer, lesser-developed countries receiving the bulk of environmentally damaging industry and disposal of highly toxic waste worldwide. 7 Furthermore, the less powerful sectors o f society in developing countries, such as women, the poor, and indigenous peoples, usually shoulder the weight of environmental hazards, both at home and at work (Bullard 1990; Forum 1995; Camacho 1998). In Taiwan, inclusion o f concepts o f environmental justice has recently entered the environmental policy discourse due mainly to efforts by representatives o f the aboriginal tribes on the island. Scholars, religious organizations, and international N G O s have expressed outrage at the Taiwanese government's treatment o f aboriginal peoples and their territory in cases such as the nuclear waste disposal site on Orchid Island, home of the Y a m i people, and the proposals for the building o f dams in Haocha and Meinong, among others. The adequacy and efficacy of an environmental policy strategy w i l l have repercussions for social and economic relationships as well as ecological stability. A creative and vigilant application o f a diverse portfolio o f environmental policy measures which are contextually appropriate and socially responsible is necessary to prevent reduction in quality o f life, abuses of human populations, further transfer o f wealth from developing to developed nations and deterioration o f the resource base on which we depend for existence. This thesis w i l l define the umbrella goals o f environmental policy (normative policy), describe environmental policy as it functions in the particular case o f Taiwan, analyze the strengths and weaknesses in Taiwan's environmental policy and supporting institutional structure, and suggest possible mechanisms for increasing the innovation of effective environmental policy in Taiwan, particularly with respect to industrial pollution of water resources. 7 The large number o f industries such as scrap metal and battery recycling relocated to China in the last decade is a good example o f this. 12 1.2 Research Scope, Goals and Methods The primary concern o f this research was to form a more thorough understanding o f the environmental policy milieu in Taiwan and identify potential areas o f difficulty for successful environmental policy in developing or newly developed countries. A s explained in the introduction, I chose water as a focus because o f its importance as a basic resource needed to sustain life and because Taiwan is facing increasing difficulties in providing adequate supplies o f water to serve industrial and municipal demands. Hsinchu county was a natural choice for a case study because it has experienced ecological and social stress, and is serving as a model for future economic development in Taiwan and elsewhere. In order to allow for in-depth analysis, I restricted the discussion o f water pollution policy to the Water Pollution Control Act . In some places I refer to the Toxic Waste Control Act because o f the close connection between water quality and legal and illegal disposal o f toxic industrial wastes. Although I did not specifically focus interview questions on toxic waste control, interview subjects frequently brought up issues of toxic waste disposal, and these issues were covered heavily in the Taiwan press in 2000 and 2001. I did not address issues o f groundwater pollution or the recent Soil and Groundwater Pollution Act , although the quality of soil and groundwater is closely related to the pollution of surface waters and to toxic waste issues in Taiwan. Research Goals and Objectives The goals of the research were threefold: (1) To determine the institutional environment in Taiwan with respect to water pollution policy; (2) To determine the barriers to the improvement o f the efficacy o f water pollution policy in Taiwan; and (3) To suggest practical actions to improve the institutional structure supporting innovative water pollution policy specifically, and environmental policy in general. In order to deteirnine the institutional environment, it was necessary to ascertain which governmental departments were making what types of decisions pertaining to environmental policy, and how they were influenced by other governmental or non-governmental pressures. I chose to look at jurisdictional authority, as represented by laws on record; common practice, represented by interview 13 responses; and access to information, particularly data related to water pollution type and quantity. The last necessitated determining what types o f data were being collected, what organizations or institutions were doing the collecting, and who was entitled to or allowed to access data under what circumstances. For the purposes o f this research, water pollution related data was defined as physical, biological or chemical data related to the nature of pollutants released into surface water bodies, technological developments for pollution abatement, ecosystem integrity or biodiversity data, and water quality and quantity data. To determine the barriers to the improvement o f water pollution policy, I analyzed restrictions on access to data, distribution o f power and authority to make policy changes, and capacity to implement policies at a practical level. This allowed a reasonable assessment o f the means by which the legal system, cultural norms, and information access issues impede or promote the design and implementation of innovative water pollution policy. Finally, I attempted to identify strengths in Taiwan's current approach to water pollution policy and environmental policy as a whole, and to make some recommendations for promising approaches to improving the efficacy of environmental policy. Research Methods The research approach was based on content analysis o f interviews and collected literature and quantitative data on the Hsinchu Science-based Industrial Park, policy and planning publications from the central E P A , and water quality and water quantity data from the central zone o f Taiwan. I designed interview questions ahead of time, which were translated into Chinese, and conducted semi-structured interviews with representatives from various organizations, including the national Environmental Protection Administration, Hsinchu county and Hsinchu city Environmental Protection Bureaus, environmental reporters, the Hsinchu Science-based Industrial Park Administration (SIPA), representatives o f individual companies in the Hsinchu Science-Based Industrial Park, government-funded research organizations, universities, member o f the national Legislative Yuan, environmental N G O s , and a private environmental quality consulting firm. Initially, interview subjects were taken from names gathered during the literature review and from personal contacts. Most interviews were arranged through email contact from Canada before I left for Taiwan and/or 14 direct phone contact once I arrived in Taiwan. Upon beginning the field research, I acted on subsequent referrals, increasing the number of interview subjects. I spent seven weeks in Taiwan between late February and Early Apr i l , and formally interviewed a total o f 41 subjects.8 Most interview subjects were located in the Taipei and Hsinchu areas. The interviews were conducted for the most part in the work offices o f the subjects, and the majority o f the interviews were conducted in Mandarin. When the interview subject had a high fluency in English, I conducted part or all o f the interview in English i f the subject seemed wil l ing. I found there were two advantages to using English over Mandarin, one being that my English technical vocabulary is far better than that of my Mandarin. The other was that some subjects, especially older subjects who had received an advanced degree from a U-S. or British University, were particularly happy to practice their English, and seemed to speak more freely in the foreign language. I speculated that there may be as many as three reasons for this: 1) when your command o f a language is not as good, it is more difficult to speak enigmatically, and people tend to be more direct, 2) There is less chance of passersby who are not actively listening to pick up what you are saying, and 3) there tends to be a feeling that the content o f what you are saying is not as real, or does not have the force that it would i f said in your mother tongue. When the subject was wil l ing, the conversation was recorded. In cases where subjects indicated that they were not comfortable being recorded I did not record the interview. A s the interview process progressed and my understanding o f the environmental policy situation in Taiwan evolved, I better understood the problems confronted by polluters, water pollution victims, policy makers and regulators. Therefore I regularly revised the questions I asked, depending on my knowledge o f an issue, and the expertise of the interview subject. Taiwan is a small place where environmental issues are socially and politically divisive, and The breakdown o f interview subjects was as follows: Industry representatives (4), government research organization representatives (5), academia (5), E P A / E P B employees (7), consulting firm employees (5), media (2), N G O s (6), legislators, (3) other governmental, (3), and other experts (2). 15 I was not surprised to find that there is a large, but well-known circle of individuals who are working on environmental issues. B y the time the field research period came to a close, I had developed questions quite different from those asked in the first interviews. To supplement the interviews, I followed up the fieldwork with a short questionnaire that was sent via email to the same people that I interviewed. In addition to interviews, I collected publications on water pollution issues and on environmental problems in Hsinchu county and high-tech pollution issues in particular. Information collected included scholarly work by members o f the Taiwanese academic community concerned with water and pollution, water quantity data for the central region o f Taiwan from the Water Resource Department o f the Ministry o f Economic Affairs, and water quality data and standards from the E P A and from the Hsinchu Science-based Industrial Park Administration and wastewater treatment center. I gained personal exposure to the high-tech water pollution issues in Taiwan through participation in the Sil icon Val ley Toxics Coalition tour o f Taiwan arranged by Taiwan Environmental Action Network ( T E A N ) . This exchange included tours o f the wastewater treatment centers in the HSIP and the newer Tainan Science-based Industrial Park (TSIP), and following the highly polluted Keya River from the HSIP wastewater treatment center to the coast and interviewing people who lived along the stream. We also took one short trip to a new Tainan County toxic sludge burial site that received sludge from the HSIP wastewater treatment plant. 1 6 If you manage to save the green mountain, you won't worry about having no firewood to burn. Chapter 2 The Potential of a Comprehensive Environmental Policy The literature on the expectations o f environmental policy is expansive and growing daily, and this is by no means an exhaustive account. The purpose of this section is to enumerate some of the most promising, though arguably idealistic, characteristics o f a comprehensive environmental policy, especially those that are useful in assessing Taiwan's current water pollution policy strategy in relation to high tech industry. Some of the standard measures by which environmental policy is evaluated in the literature are effectiveness, efficiency, equity, and innovation (Wallace 1995; Gunningham and Grabosky 1998; Norberg-Bohm 1999). These indicators are affected by a multitude of characteristics o f the relevant society or societies, including government and industry structure, aspirations o f political and industry leaders, and the overall social milieu in which policy develops. Thomas Berry attempted to summarize the basic causes for the current state o f environmental degradation in spite o f great technological advance; he cited three main ones as being the (1) lack o f political w i l l to enforce laws presently on national books and to make the necessary changes in economic and social policies and structures, (2) the disconnectedness o f production and consumption from the underpinning biospheric base, and (3) the lack of awareness and knowledge of the dynamic relationships between humans and planet earth (Berry 1988). Although every country offers a unique set o f problems for environmental policy, these traits are overwhelmingly common to all industrialized and industrializing societies. Illustrations o f the presence these three main issues have in Taiwan with respect to water pollution policy and more generally to environmental policy wi l l become evident in the 17 progression of this thesis. The challenges for effective environmental policy include overcoming these barriers, among others. 2.1 Working with and Beyond the Prevailing Culture and Regulatory Structure Berry's explanation for the environmental crisis points to the need for environmental policy to be explicit in identifying the social and institutional contexts in which environmental threats came about and are to be addressed, as well as the ecological context. To achieve the goal of sustainability, however, environmental policy must maintain a normative vision o f the ideal as a long-term goal. This contradicts the traditional reactive approach typically taken by the government of Taiwan (and many governments) when dealing with environmental issues; the focus goes beyond amelioration o f a problem to eliminating or preventing one. It necessitates a more sophisticated approach, requiring policy-makers, industry, and individuals to be innovative and proactive in creative design and sustained work towards an ideal social and economic structure. In the environmental policy literature, this ideal is often referred to as the New Environmental Paradigm (Milbrath 1993). The New Environmental Paradigm emphasizes as a basic tenent the acceptance o f a significant societal adjustment, from a situation where Berry's three faults are paramount, to one in which humans are cognizant and appreciative o f the ways in which their economic and social activities affect the resources that they depend upon for survival and governments are defenders o f environmental integrity. Although it might seem lofty, the goal of the New Environmental Paradigm is built on simple logic; I f the structure does not allow for sustainable behavior, then sustainability w i l l be unachievable. To give an analogy, i f a doctor splints a broken bone without first setting it properly, the bone cannot be expected to grow back with the desired strength and integrity. Therefore, attention must be paid to the structure within which we attempt to build sustainable development. Environmental policy has an important role in shaping this structure, as do economic and social policy. However, economic, political, and social 18 structures are themselves like complex and resilient ecosystems, with active supporters defending them. Therefore the constraints o f politics, economics, and society must be recognized, and to some extent overcome to enact long-range environmental goals. Effective environmental policy depends on careful assessment o f existent cultural norms, and political, economic, and environmental institutions in order to capitalize on their strengths and compensate for their weaknesses. 2.2 Interdisciplinary Scope with Meaningful Boundaries Environmental policy is decidedly complex, dealing with both human and non-human aspects of the world, with both willful actors and natural systems o f which our understanding w i l l likely forever be incomplete. The scholarly work on environmental policy has come out of all areas of political science as well as law, sociology, ecology, biology, chemistry, ethics, and psychology (Fiorno 1995). B y nature, it embodies the challenge common to all interdisciplinary analyses, the task o f balancing depth o f knowledge from highly specific fields with a broad perspective and awareness o f interconnectedness necessary to make a decision that wi l l have a net, long-range positive benefit. Some argue that current institutions are just not adept at factoring these less tangible interests into the policy equation. "Deliberative, purposive, and reliable policy-making requires a high order of synthesis - a process poorly developed in modern science and politics." (Caldwell 1994, p 318). In addition to the lack o f an adequate institutional support structure, environmental policy is bounded by the limits of human cognition and the constraints o f the scope of any pragmatic political or technological action plan. Therefore it is necessary to draw artificial boundaries around environmental issues in order to devise corresponding policy decisions. The question is not whether to draw the boundary, but where (Honadle 1999). The implementation o f an environmental policy effectively determines which characteristics o f an issue are to be considered symptomatic and which are to be considered causal. That being so, the boundary should be drawn such that the understanding o f the hierarchy o f ecological cause-effect 19 relationships and the institutional capacity to treat a cause at a given level o f the hierarchy are both taken into account. Too narrow a policy risks treating only the symptoms and excluding the underlying cause. On the other hand, a policy that simultaneously attempts to address multiple causes o f multiple problems risks being too i l l defined to make implementation reasonable. 2.3 Equity and Cooperation in Development and Regulation Not only should environmental policy address the relationships between human and non-human components of the world, but also the relationships among humans themselves. One of the consequences o f incongruent development between countries and between regions within countries is the tendency for more developed areas to capitalize on their ability to extract or purchase natural resources and human capital o f lesser developed areas (Elliot 1998). There are two negative consequences o f this type o f activity: First, it impedes the psychological connection between resource depletion and consumption, as materials are consumed far from their origin. Second, it frequently results in an accumulation o f wealth by the developed area and an accumulation o f pollution and environmental damage in the lesser-developed area. Environmental policy should not take the role o f forbidding lesser-developed countries and regions to engage in such a relationship, but should empower communities and countries, promoting awareness o f environmental consequences, consideration of alternatives and the right to protect their environmental resources for future use by their own people, and to demand environmental performance from both foreign and local companies. Environmental policy alone cannot reverse or prevent incongruent development, but can mitigate the negative consequences. The absence o f trust and the presence of adversarial relationships between regulators, the regulated, and the affected publics characterize environmental issues in both developed and developing countries. In this situation, which I call the triangle of distrust, industry does not trust that the regulatory body understands the technical capacity o f industry or the economic 20 costs of environmental regulation; government and the public does not trust industry in voluntary compliance, and industry and government do not trust that, given access to technical reports, public interest groups have the capacity to make technically or politically literate decisions to support or oppose industry or regulators. Environmental policy should seek to reduce the presence o f the triangle o f distrust through public access to information on pollution problems, corresponding policy issues, and industry initiatives and progress, and aid in cooperation among various sectors of society. The close connection between environmental policy and very basic universal concerns, such as human health, especially children's health, promises to encourage multi-sector cooperation in environmental policy efforts. The provision of multiple fora for industry-public exchange, industry-regulator exchange and public-regulator exchange is necessary to begin to reduce the level o f distrust that hinders multi-sector collaboration on environmental goals. Incorporating mechanisms that allow all affected sectors of society the opportunity to contribute to the overall environmental vision, and to express concerns about specific environmental issues fosters cooperative movement toward improvement. The role o f open and easily accessible information on ecological indicators, government policy and industrial effluent and development plans, and frequent opportunities for both horizontal and vertical communication within a country and internationally become extremely important in ensuring the appropriateness o f a given policy approach. 2.4 Context-specific Prescription, Emphasizing Adaptation and Prevention Global aspects o f trade in goods and waste, coupled with the regional differences in ability to manage waste and prevent pollution necessitate combining local control and custom design with national/regional/international standards and external audit. This further advances the goal o f achieving a degree of fairness in regulation while minimizing negative impacts on innovation. Some environmental policy writers, such as Lester Milbrath, advocate the use of large umbrella agencies to oversee environmental policy making at the national or even 21 international level (Milbrath 1993). Arguments in favor o f this approach include the greater objectivity and broader perspective that these type of agencies might maintain, enabling coordination o f policy across economic sectors and among varying regional interests. This requires a degree o f top-down control, where the interests o f the region may outrank the interests o f individuals or constituent communities. The top-down approach has the benefit o f facilitating coordination o f any data collection strategies, fairness in implementation o f penalties for infraction or rewards for progressive action, and reducing the chances o f "eco-dumping" or migration of heavy polluters out o f areas where regulations are strict into areas where regulations are more lenient. It also has the advantage o f matching or corresponding to long-range economic development plans that are designed and implemented from a top-down approach within the national context. Others emphasize the necessity of local control in order to design goals and strategies appropriate to existing local conditions (Honadle 1999). Contextually sensitive environmental strategies can capitalize on existing resources and facilitate the ownership and responsibility by the local community necessary for sustained monitoring, follow-through, and adaptation. The top-down and bottom-up approaches are complementary, arid both have an important role to play in a comprehensive policy plan. A balance between proactive and reactive aspects of environmental policy can be realized in an iterative policy evolution process which includes prescription while allowing flexibility. While the designation of major, long-term environmental goals is indispensable in designing a coherent and integrated approach to environmental policy, prescriptive policy should be reserved for the big picture and benchmark goals, leaving room for flexibility in the construction o f more specific short-term objectives (Gunningham and Grabosky 1998). Short-term geographically bound goals reflect the need to connect local people to the local environment in an effort to maintain accountability and enhance the appropriateness o f management decisions. The choice o f broad policy goals that are generally acceptable to the citizenry o f the relevant country or region w i l l facilitate public support for policy, increasing its potential for survival in the face of numerous conflicting political and social interests. The effective integration o f long-term and short-term social, economic and environmental 22 goals depends on explicit communication o f the large goals and frequent assessment and communication o f progress towards them. Confining the prescriptive content o f policy to the larger goals and a limited number o f coordinated processes o f achieving them is one way o f minimizing regulator intervention, which can be costly and politically unfavorable (Gunningham and Grabosky 1998). However, environmental policy must be sufficiently directed so as to unequivocally connect human consumption, and economic and political development o f a region or country to the natural resource base o f that area. This is increasingly difficult to do given the expansion o f global trade, and the reliance of many countries, especially resource-poor ones like Taiwan, on industries for which they do not supply the natural resources, nor in many cases the economic market. One o f the most important concepts in environmental policy is that there is no quick fix. There is no one manner of regulation or combination o f regulations that wi l l be appropriate across geographical, cultural, and temporal contexts. Encouraging innovation that takes advantage of variations in local geography, regional economics, and cultural contexts, and industry capacity is important to sustained success in achieving environmental goals. C. S. Holl ing 's concept o f adaptive management is useful in the design and assessment o f environmental policies because it stresses the importance o f making decisions with full awareness that we are uncertain of the impacts, and that subsequent modification o f the original approaches is desirable and expected rather than indicative o f failure (Holling 1978). A n ideal policy structure takes uncertainty as imminent rather than trying to eliminate it. This is partially achieved by designing for relatively rapid modification in mechanisms used to achieve environmental goals in the event that the economic, social, technological or natural climate changes, causing the current approach to fail in achieving the desired goals or resulting in unexpected negative impacts. Finally, policy choices should focus on prevention o f pollution rather than treatment o f pollution (Gunningham and Grabosky 1998). This requires whole system accounting and analysis rather than end o f pipe measurements, and therefore requires innovation, context-23 specific design, and collaborative effort between the producers o f pollution and the regulators to avoid the prohibitive cost o f full-scale regulatory audit. Emphasis on pollution prevention can be assisted by complimentary efforts by government, N G O s and other businesses to offer technical information and subsidized implementation o f technologies that reduce the need for the use o f toxic substances or natural resources in the first place. In some cases this approach can simultaneously increase industrial profits and reduce environmental impacts. 9 9 In the case o f the semiconductor industry, studies on reduced use o f ultrapure water needed in chip rinses have shown savings for industry through reduction of resource use, more effective chemical recycling, and subsequent reduction in pollution. See proceedings of the HSIP and S V T C conference, March 2001, Hsinchu, Taiwan (in Chinese). 24 Contextual reconstruction is a fundamental and irreducible requirement for environmental understanding. Samuel P. Hayes, A History of Environmental Politics Since 1945 - 2000, p 226. Chapter 3 Taiwan, Water Pollution and High Tech Industry 3.1 W h y Taiwan Many factors influenced my choice of Taiwan for the subject o f this research. Originally the goal was to maintain my Mandarin language skills and to contribute in some small way to the welfare o f this island where one could not drink the water and could not breathe the air, and where I had made so many good friends. However, to be fair, Taiwan has much more to offer as subject of study for environmental policy. Taiwan's rapid economic development has resulted in severe pollution problems that would be a significant challenge for even the most established environmental policy. It is seen as a prominent economic power in Asia , and a model for economic development in other Asian nations. One major source o f this wealth and this pollution is the computers and peripherals industry, technology originally transferred to Taiwan from the United States in the 1980s. Finally, the Taiwanese environmental policy approach, like Taiwan's technological advance and political system, is highly modeled after that o f the United States, although it is significantly less developed (Calvert and Calvert 1999, Berman 1998). Therefore, this study offers the opportunity to address some o f the pros and cons o f technology and policy transfer across geographical and cultural boundaries, and more specifically the strengths and weaknesses o f water pollution policy in the Taiwan context. 25 A country in transition Taiwan is on the cusp between developing country and developed country. The rapidity with which industrialization occurred on the island was not mirrored by social or institutional change, and therefore while Taiwan has access to "first world" technology, attitudes of planning, maintenance, and monitoring are not in keeping with the power and products people have at their disposal. A probable explanation for this lies in the fact that it takes time to build social consciousness and change social behavior patterns, both o f which are needed to adapt to and manage responsibly new technology. In contrast, new technology comes with amazing speed. Worldwide, legal, political, and social structures lag far behind technological and scientific advances. For many other Asian, Southeast Asian, and Latin American countries, the rate at which the society has converted from an agricultural to an industrial to a high-tech economy has intensified the degree o f incongruent social and technological development (Vogel 1991). For many o f these "Late developer" countries, rapid development brings with it a set o f social issues and regulatory problems. Technology is not transferred in a vacuum, but brings with it artifacts from the culture of origin, and the local culture must adjust as it accepts and adapts to the requirements o f the new technology, or adapts the new technology to the receiving social context. Taiwan is a developed country in many aspects: It boasts a 98% literacy rate, and a per capita income on par with that of the United States ( M O E A 2000c); citizens receive comprehensive socialized medical care in hospitals equipped with the latest technology; and it makes a major portion o f the worlds computer chips. Like much o f the developed world, the consumption habits o f Taiwan are the single most important variable in the success o f environmental policy implementation. The prevalence of disposable plastic items is increasing, and the garbage dumps on the island are overflowing. Incineration and ocean dumping are the next options, but both have fairly significant environmental impacts and have met with opposition from local as well as international citizen groups. 26 However, in other areas Taiwan has neglected development o f basic management systems to ensure public health and safety. Stray animals with skin diseases roam the streets of every city, solid waste incinerators have no means to dispose of the toxic ash they produce (Chiu 2001a), only 10% of the country's sewage is treated before spilling into rivers ( E P A , R O C ) , the three nuclear power plants on the island have records of multiple radioactive leaks (News), the Industrial Development Bureau recently announced that it cannot trace the whereabouts o f over 100,000 tons o f toxic waste that should have been disposed of properly by government licensed treatment companies, and the E P A estimates that only 40 percent o f the 1.47 mill ion tons o f the hazardous industrial waste generated annually in Taiwan is properly treated (Chiu 2000c). Comparing the development o f environmental policy in Taiwan to the "Three Epochs" framework proposed by Mazmanian and Kraft (1999) in their analysis o f U . S . environmental policy illustrates some of the differences between the two countries. The first epoch is characterized by the building of a command and control regime with a strong federal presence. The second is a transitional phase, somewhat of a reaction to the shortcomings of command and control, emphasizing efficiency, flexibility, and the balancing o f social and economic goals with environmental ones. The third phase is characterized by a drive for sustainability, local control, and context specific solutions. Taiwan is not leapfrogging over the first two phases, but simultaneously entering into activities that belong to all three. In many ways, Taiwan is still very much in the first phase o f this framework, striving to implement a command and control regime, concentrating on setting standards for air emissions and food safety, among other criteria ( E P A 2001c). However, there is also evidence o f increasing attempts to involve citizen groups and improve communication between environmental N G O s , industry and government agencies around very specific, localized environmental issues such as groundwater contamination, incinerator pollution, and specific sources of river pollution. A s for the middle phase, the people o f Taiwan are very conscious that they are walking a line between economic prosperity and environmental threat, and that keeping the balance is required to ensure human health and domestic and international political stability. 27 Profit from pollution: Rapid economic development and environmental degradation The late K . T . Lee ( L i Guo L i ) , scientific advisor to president Lee Tenghui, and often known as the father of technology for his role in bringing high tech industry to Taiwan, is said to have stated that all o f Taiwan's wealth came from pollution 1 0 . I f this is true, then the tiny island absorbed a great deal o f pollution in the latter half o f the twentieth century. Taiwan's rapid economic growth in the last 40 years has earned the country the favor o f investors worldwide and the distinction as one o f the four little dragons o f As i a (along with South Korea, Hong Kong, and Singapore). Partially because o f this development, the population o f Taiwan rose from 7.5 mill ion in 1950 to almost 22 mil l ion in 1998 ( R O C Yearbook, 1999). A t over 600 people per square kilometer, Taiwan now has one o f the highest population densities in the w o r l d " , is the 19 t h largest economy, the 14 t h largest trading nation 1 2 , and has the third largest foreign exchange reserves in the wor ld . 1 3 The pollution associated with development was long overlooked by the Taiwanese government and influential members of Taiwanese society. The growth of the export economy often meant increasing pollution from production processes (Yeh 1997). Emphasis was placed on economic development above all else, evidenced by lack o f respect and funding for the Environmental Protection Bureaus and the Environmental Protection Administration compared to the high status and funding o f the Ministry o f Economic Affairs ( M O E A ) by the Legislative Yuan (Chan 1993). According to the first director o f the Taiwan E P A , the discrepancy between high levels of economic wealth and low levels of environmental protection is a result of policy and social structures that force the automatic l u Interview notes, T0307C 1 1 A t 598 persons per square km, Taiwan's population density is ranked second (after Bangladesh) by the Republic of China Yearbook, 1988, Taipei, R O C , and fourth (after Hong Kong, Singapore, and Bangladesh). Philip Yang o f National Taiwan University in Taipei, 1999. 1 2 U . S . Department of State, K y i amendment No . 4133, September 11, 2000 at http://usirifo.state.gov/regionayea/uschina/pntrkyl.htm. 1 3 Taiwan's foreign currency reserves reached a record high at US$113.8 in June o f 2000. Taipei Times, 06/08/00 at http://www.taipeitimes.com/news/2000/07/08/brief/0000007753 28 compromise of the environment whenever economic concerns conflict with environmental ones (Williams 1994). However, the change in the way Taiwanese people experience their environment and in the health impacts they face has not gone entirely unnoticed by the Taiwanese public. Approximately 90 industrial parks dot the densely populated western half of the island, (see Appendix II), making it logistically impossible to achieve any significant geographical separation o f people and industrial emissions. The pollution problem in Taiwan has many facets. The multiple stages o f development o f various sectors o f society mean that the sources o f pollution range from raw domestic sewage to agricultural runoff to high-tech chemical emissions and biotech waste. There are cultural and economic constraints, institutional and infrastructure weaknesses, and international and domestic pressures that influence Taiwan's ability and motivation to curb pollution. The rapid pace of economic development has increased personal income o f the Taiwanese, making possible high consumption levels, which are seen as desirable symbols o f wealth. The resulting environmental degradation is made more severe by the limited natural resources and high population density o f the island (Williams, 1989). Internal and external political pressures play a large role in both the basis o f continuing pollution problems and the success o f environmental policy in Taiwan. There is still profit from pollution, both legal and illegal. Industries legally discharge effluent into the water, air, and landfills, and there are currently no laws that allow enforcement o f the polluter pays principle in Taiwan. The paucity o f licensed toxic waste handling firms in Taiwan means that much o f the waste goes untreated simply due to lack of venues to treat it. In addition, there is little audit o f licensed companies to ensure that they actually have the capacity and w i l l to treat waste that they accept. Recent dumping incidents in Taiwan resulted in the closing o f a major toxic waste handling company. Further investigation revealed that the company had illegally dumped thousands o f tons of high tech waste in rivers around Taiwan since 1997 (Chiu 2000c). The lack o f toxic waste handlers in Taiwan is an intriguing issue, since they are well paid and in high demand. Some speculate 29 that there is an organized attempt to keep the number low in order to maintain the lucrative black market in illegal removal o f toxic waste. 1 4 Proper treatment o f wastes is often expensive. This, combined with a lack o f audit and punishment of companies that illegally dump wastes is an incentive for waste handlers to engage in this kind o f activity. A modelfor China and other countries The economic growth with equity for which Taiwan is known has made it the envy o f many developing countries, especially those in Asia . Due to particularly open political borders, and advanced state o f industrialization, Taiwan offers an accessible research arena for studying the efficacy o f environmental policy options functioning within the Chinese culture. Although Taiwan and China have developed in very different economic and political milieus in the past fifty years, there still exist many cultural similarities between the two countries, and the degree o f business and personal exchange has been increasing dramatically in the past ten years. In spite o f being ideologically opposed to Taiwan's form o f government and Taiwan's political desire to be an autonomous country, China has recruited Taiwanese as consultants in their attempt at recreating Taiwan's miracle on the mainland, particularly in the area o f high-tech, 1 5 and the province o f Guandong has been called the fifth dragon economy, having ambitions to catch up to Taiwan (Brudvig, 1993). Considering the common language and degree o f cultural history shared by China and Taiwan, the large amount o f investment in China by Taiwanese firms and other foreign firms that previously invested in Taiwan, Taiwan is arguably the closest model we can expect to have for future environmental crises in China. Although by no means an identical situation, examination o f the problems with environmental policy in Taiwan is a reasonable place to begin speculating about the policy issues that China may come up against in the future, particularly with respect to high-tech 1 4 Interview notes, V0215L 1 5 Interview notes, P0202T 30 pollution. The same analysis might be useful in designing more responsible industrial parks for other parts o f the world as well. Even developed countries are looking at the HSIP as a successful model o f guided economic development (Prestwood and Schumann 2001). In addition to China, western countries such as France, Spain, England, and Germany have sent researchers to examine the mechanisms by which Taiwan developed the HSIP (Luo 2000). 3.2 The Importance of Water Human and ecosystem health and national security A n adequate amount of clean water is a basic requirement for human and ecosystem health. Clean water is also necessary for agriculture and industry, which contribute to human survival and quality o f life. Although water is often conceived o f as a renewable resource, the rate at which freshwater resources are renewed varies with the type of resource and the geographical location. For example, surface waters are renewed faster than aquifers and replenishment rates among aquifers vary considerably with aquifer depth and local geology. The amount of fresh water on the earth is less than one half o f 1% of the total water on the earth and is not increasing What is increasing is the degree to which available freshwater is polluted, effectively decreasing the amount of usable water available to the increasing human population. The continuous decrease in available fresh water per capita necessitates that careful attention be paid to the water resources we do have, reducing human consumption and pollution considerably, in order to leave enough water available to support the ecosystems that we rely on for food, shelter, and air quality, as wel l as entertainment, transportation, and life quality. Water is also increasingly becoming an issue of national security. A s a basic requirement for agriculture and industry, water shortages could severely jeopardize a country's economic and social stability, especially in areas with low storage capacity for rainfall, and few aquifer resources. Even water rich countries like Canada have recently begun to recognize the importance o f safeguarding water resources for future use. In countries with a history of 31 weak water pollution surveillance and management, the low degree o f understanding o f the extent, sources, and consequences o f water pollution hinders national capacity to safeguard water resources. Particularly important to water policy in Taiwan is the recognition of the pressure on water resources exerted by petrochemical, textile and high-tech industries, especially given the importance of these industries to the international political status of Taiwan, and the plans to increase development o f these categories o f industry. 1 6 3.3 The State of the Wate r in Taiwan Supply Taiwan is a humid, subtropical island with an annual rainfall o f 2500 mm. In spite o f this high level o f precipitation, due to high population, the average fresh water per capita in Taiwan is only one sixth of the world average (Hsu et al. 1998). Due to the lack of sewage treatment there is subsequent biological contamination o f drinking water sources, and the majority o f residents must boil their water before drinking. L o w water storage capacity and a high percentage o f impermeable surface in populated areas exacerbates the problem. With such demand for the limited fresh water available, water conservation and waste water management become important factors in maintaining both the economy of the country and the health o f the population. Competition for water for industrial, agricultural, and domestic uses, and lack o f effective water pollution regulation threaten the quality o f water resources in Taiwan. Provision of water and goods has long taken precedence over management o f waste products associated with consumption. The increasing contamination o f surface waters with 1 6 Recent increases and plans to increase the number o f high-tech parks and petrochemical plants in Taiwan include the Binnan complex and the southern technology park, both in Tainan county. More information can be found on the M O E A website at www.moeaidb.gov/tw. 32 industrial, agricultural, and domestic waste has resulted in a lack o f potable water, particularly affecting the health of the population on the western coast of the island, where the majority of the population and industries are located (Kuo et al. 1997; Yang et al. 1999; Yang 1999). The importance o f adequate water regulation is becoming more and more apparent as the Taiwanese struggle to maintain the economic miracle without suffering the catastrophic effects o f severe pollution and the economic, health, and social impacts of shortages o f such a basic resource. Overall, Taiwan has a high amount o f rainfall, but it is unevenly distributed over the year, and there are comparatively few reservoirs to use for storage. Taiwan has 129 rivers, of which 21 are classified as primary rivers and 29 others as secondary rivers ( E P A , R O C ) . Water flow in all rivers varies seasonably, with high flow rates during the rainy season (May-October) and low flow rates during the dry season (November-April). In many circumstances, dikes, channelization, gravel mining, and burial o f garbage during the dry season have degraded rivers considerably. Due to Taiwan's geography, reservoirs are small and rivers have a large amount o f suspended solids, resulting in rapid sedimentation o f existing reservoir resources (Roam 2000). The rivers follow short, steep paths to the sea, carrying high sediment loads. The Water Resources Department of the M O E A collects data on water supply, and management is divided into four geographical areas in Taiwan: the northern, middle, southern, and eastern areas. The middle area includes Hsinchu county, and water resource records cite this region as receiving an average o f 1897 mm of rain in 1999, with the lowest annual rainfall since 1949 (1389 mm) recorded in 1980 and the highest annual rainfall (2891 mm) recorded in 1966. In contrast, the annual rainfall in the northern, southern, and eastern regions in Taiwan is significantly higher, with 1897 mm, 2380 mm, and 2181 mm respectively for 1999 1 7 1 7 Minis t ry of Economic Affairs Water Resources Bureau data. 33 Consumption Water consumption in Taiwan is divided between household (15.8%), industrial (9.7%), and agriculture (74%) (1996 data)(Roam 2000). The majority o f water consumed is drawn from rivers (48%), with another 32% drawn from underground aquifers. Only 20% comes from reservoirs. The high percentage o f water drawn from river sources is significant because rivers are the main receiving waters for municipal sewage and industrial outflow as well as necessary to support freshwater ecosystems. Since 1980, the amount of water used annually in agriculture has diminished from 16.24 x 10 8 m 3 to 12.052 x 10 8 m 3 , while industrial use has increased from 14.54 x 10 8 m 3to 17.23 x 10 8 m 3 and household use has increased from 10.89 x 10 8 m 3to 30.96 x 10 8 m 3 . 1 8 Just in the last decade total water used by industry and households has increased 31% ( M O E A , 2000a). The decrease in agricultural production in Taiwan is responsible for decreased use of water for agriculture over the past 40 years. Between 1951 and 1998 the percentage of G N P coming from agricultural products dropped from 30% to less than 5% ( M O E A 2000a). The majority o f the crops still grown in the country, like rice and fruit, generally require large amounts of clean water. The degree o f contamination of streams used for irrigation has farmers and consumers worried about eating produce grown domestically. A 1997 newspaper article describing the area near the Hsinchu Science-based Industrial Park stated that fish and shrimp had disappeared from the river, and farmers didn't dare to walk barefoot in their fields or eat the food that they were growing for market (Chen 1997). In addition to use in irrigation, much water is harvested, purified, and sold in bottles or large jugs to be used as household drinking water. Due to the heavy pollution o f water sources in Taiwan, few households have access to potable tap water. A s Taiwanese become increasingly affluent, and the cleanliness o f piped water sources becomes increasingly dubious, bottled water is becoming very popular. Taiwan is encouraging privatization o f water distribution (Roam 2000) and the harvesting o f water can cause the depletion o f aquifers, potentially effecting the surface waters that depend on these sources. Additionally, 34 growing popularity and acceptance o f bottled water can reduce public pressure on the government to protect and upgrade tap water resources. Pollution Water pollution in Taiwan can be divided roughly into three different categories based on source: municipal effluent, agricultural effluent, and industrial effluent. The first comprises primarily human sewage as wel l as storm runoff, effluent from restaurants and small unregistered factories. Agricultural effluent includes fertilizer and pesticide runoff from fields, and effluent from animal husbandry, primarily hog farming. Industrial effluent is output from registered industrial sources, and is required to be monitored for B O D , C O D , suspended solids, p H , and heavy metals content before it can be legally dumped into a receiving water body. The majority (90%) of all water pollution by volume is attributed to municipal effluent (Roam 1999), and measured by B O D , municipal, industrial and hog farming effluent are responsible for approximately 44%, 33%, and 22% of total water pollution, ( E P A , R O C ) (Development 1999). Upstream water resources are affected significantly more by agricultural pollution sources than by any other form of pollution: In 1999, 70% of the pollution in the Kaoping River in southern Taiwan was due to hog farm effluent. The T E P A has an ongoing project to reduce hog production in watershed conservation areas, paying farmers in sensitive areas to reduce their head o f hogs. 1 9 According the E P A records, water pollution problems in Taiwan are improving. The total (measured in kilometers) o f streams and rivers classified as heavily polluted and moderately polluted is decreasing. Since 1995, 42.9 km (1.4%) o f seriously polluted river-length has been improved, and unpolluted river length has increased by 60.3 km (2%)(EPA 2000b). However, a 2000 E P A report stated that 1.59% of tap water samples did not meet E P A standards due mainly to contamination with phenols, chloride and ammonia nitrogen, and o f non-tap water sources used for drinking, almost 45% did not meet national standards ( E P A M O E A Water Resources Bureau data, collected March, 2001. 1 9 Interview notes, T0322R 35 2001a). Additionally, It is important to consider that the types o f substances being released in municipal and industrial wastewater are changing along with the changes in Taiwan's consumer habits and major industrial sectors. The water pollution testing protocols and standards, however, have not changed to reflect the change in effluent content. 2 0 This may have some implications for the validity o f E P A classifications o f "unpolluted" and "polluted" rivers. Pollution o f water bodies with industrial toxic waste is becoming one o f the most publicized issues in water pollution in Taiwan. Public and government awareness was raised in the summer of 2000, when approximately 100 tons o f solvents were dumped into the Chi-San River, a tributary to the Kao-Ping River, which supplies drinking water to the 1.44 mill ion people in Kaohsiung, Taiwan's second largest city, and the surrounding suburbs (Taiwan Formula 2000a, 2000b). After this incident, authorities discovered that the same waste management company had dumped 13,500 tons of toxic waste since 1997, and other waste management companies had illegally dumped at least 4000 tons into rivers around Taiwan (Chiu 2000c). The particular waste handling company involved in the Kao-Ping river incident was both government licensed and ISO 14000 certified (Jou 2000). Significant to this research is the fact that the waste handling company, which was subsequently shut down, was the main handler o f solvent waste for the HSIP. For many months after the incident, HSIP firms had no outlet for their waste, and it was kept untreated on site in large storage containers. i 3.4 The Hsinchu Science-based Industrial P a r k The Hsinchu Science-based Industrial Park (HSIP) is an ideal case study because it is Taiwan's archetype for "clean" economic development, technological advance, and political strength; and it releases a great deal o f chemical effluent into the surrounding environment Interview notes, H0402H 36 that is potentially hazardous to riverine ecosystems, coastal fisheries, and ultimately people. In this sense the HSIP is a site o f great controversy in Taiwan, especially because the government has plans to replicate it in other locations. The park is located on the border between Hsinchu City (population 350,000) and Hsinchu County, near the western coast of northern Taiwan. (See Appendix III for map of northern Taiwan and the Hsinchu area.) In the 1970s, many Asian countries efficiently utilized export-led industrialization strategies to capitalize on cheap and abundant labor and low rents, becoming major suppliers of labor-intensive manufactured products (Ho 1987, Chang 1995). However, as wages in Taiwan increased, traditional labor-intensive manufacturing industries began to lose the market to countries with cheaper labor and overhead costs. The Hsinchu Science-based Industrial Park is the great success story o f the Taiwanese voyage into the high-tech industry. It was the concerted effort to construct the HSIP that converted Taiwan's economy from an exporter o f inexpensive plastics and textiles to one o f microchips, computers, and peripherals. The HSIP has brought huge wealth to Taiwan while creating jobs for highly educated talent that was previously leaving the island for more technologically developed nations such as the United States. The HSIP currently produces 950 bil l ion N e w Taiwanese Dollars in sales per year (approximately 32 bil l ion U . S . dollars) 2 1 , and is seen as a model for other areas o f Taiwan and for much of developing Asia . Some scholars have even recommended that the United States and Canada would do well to learn from the success o f the HSIP and try to follow a similar development strategy o f it in the western wor ld . 2 2 The HSIP was designed to mimic the success of Sil icon Valley in California and the Research Triangle Park in North Carolina, but unlike these, it was not an organic development. The park was centrally planned and administrated, and was started with a deliberate technology and human capital transfer from the United States in 1979 (Sung 2 1 Interview notes, H0312C. 2 2 Personal communication, Donna C. L . Prestwood, Glocal Vantage, Inc. Austin Texas. The Glocalvantage report on industrial parks can be found at http://www.glocalvantage.com/SBIPReport.html. 37 1997) 2 3. Companies within the park have always been highly subsidized by tax holidays, innovation grants, expedited import and export systems, and supported by government research institutions. 2 4 In some cases, the government entered into joint ownership o f industry in order to provide necessary venture capital (Castells and Hal l 1993). This has resulted in the rapid development of a high tech industry in Taiwan and international recognition of the tiny island as a powerhouse of high-tech production. Historically, industry in Taiwan has enjoyed the support of government and been protected from criticism. The HSIP is thought o f as a "clean" development when compared to the other industries that dominate Taiwan's economy. Park management reports directly to the National Science Council (NSC). For all these reasons the park is less subject to public scrutiny, and decisions made on its pollution management are even less likely to be subject to public hearings or involve citizen input than those of industries outside the park. 2 5 Therefore, the environmental problems of the HSIP are particularly difficult to manage. 3.5 Industrial Water Use and High-Tech Pollution HSIP consumption and pollution In the HSIP, located in a water poor area o f Taiwan, consumption of water has been increasing dramatically over the last decade. A s microchip production increases, so does the amount o f water used and water discharged. There are currently 52 manufacturing fabs in the HSIP, and the third water management district data shows that consumption of water by the park has increased from a monthly average of46,407 cubic meters per day ( C M D ) in l i Interview notes, P0202T. 2 4 I D B Statute for Upgrading Industry at www.moeaidb.gov.tw/law/upderate/upgrade_eng.htm June 5, 2001. 2 5 Interview notes, H0312C 38 1997 to a monthly average o f over 100,000 C M D in the year 2000. 2 6 Fabs use water for washing chips between chemical treatment processes and for cleaning volatile chemicals out of air circulated through the chip manufacture process. The ultrapure water used for washing chips must be highly filtered. It takes between 1200 and 2000 gallons o f source water to produce 1000 gallons o f ultra pure water (Mazurek 1999), and numbers in Taiwan are likely higher due to high biological contamination and sediment loads. The HSIP recovery rate for ultra-pure water is sometimes as high as 60%. 2 7 Therefore, the actual amount source water consumed is much higher than the water used in the fabs. The majority o f the companies in the HSIP are not high-production factories. Out of 238 firms, less than 25% (52) have major production facilities. However, those fabs produce approximately 80,000 tons o f wastewater daily, according to the E P A Bureau o f Water Pollution's industrial park specialist. 2 8 The capacity o f the collective waste treatment plant is currently 105,000 C M D . Companies are required to treat their own effluent to certain standards before releasing it to the common treatment plant. 2 9 The chemicals included in wastewater from semiconductor manufacture include solvents, cleaning solutions, acids and resist materials, aqueous metals, spent etching solutions, D007 (Chromium). Solid wastes include copper trioxide, silicon, spent solvents, and epoxy materials ( E P A 1995). The main water pollution problems HSIP companies are facing include high fluoride, chloride, heavy metal, and solvent levels in wastewater. 3 0 Spent solvent treatment is a significant problem for the HSIP. Approximately 1600 tons of solvents are recovered before wastewater is sent from individual factories to the collective Unpublished data from the Third Water Management District Office, Hsinchu, Taiwan. S IPA officials cite average water use at between 105,000 and 108,000 C M D (interview notes, H0312C). 2 7 Pers. comm., Director, Science Industrial Park Administration, HSIP. 2 8 Interview notes, T0404Y 2 9 required standards for inflow to the treatment plant are BOD<= 15ppm and COD<=40 ppm, interview notes, H0312C. 3 0 Interview notes, H0315L. 39 wastewater treatment plant. 3 1 The solvent that is not recovered must be neutralized before it can safely enter the environment. Twelve plants alone produce approximately 800 tons o f sulfuric acid each month that is not recycled ( L i 2000). The wastewater treatment plant at the park requires that factory effluent meet certain standards before it is even allowed into the common treatment process, where it is then treated biologically and chemically. The HSIP wastewater treatment plant produces approximately 70-80 tons o f dewatered (80%) sludge per month. 3 2 Monitoring o f sludge production is one method used by the E P A to check on the function o f the treatment plant and catch untreated releases o f wastewater. Approximately 10% o f the total wastewater coming into the treatment plant should be precipitated out as sludge. However, because the chemicals in the wastewater mixture are not always known, and change periodically, using a constant ratio for sludge production is an inexact method o f audit. The HSIP is certainly not the only major source o f water pollution in Hsinchu County. There is a great deal o f overflow o f manufacturing into the community, including suppliers for park firms and additional high-tech firms that could not physically fit into the boundaries o f the HSIP. In addition to the firms within the HSIP, Hsinchu County is home to 257 electronic and electronic/mechanical equipment production factories, 207 metal industry facilities, 62 chemical production facilities, and 47 chemical material production industries. 3 3 It is important to note that these numbers represent registered factories, and there are likely many unregistered factories that would increase the totals. The hidden threats of industrial chemical pollution Related to limitations on capacity to handle toxic waste, the increasing variety o f chemicals discharged in industrial effluent from Taiwan's most important industry is cause for concern for the national water supply. Although reports on illegal industrial effluent evidence problems throughout the late 1990s, the July 2000 Kaoping River poisoning incident 3 1 Interview notes, H0312C. 3 2 Interview notes, T0404Y. 40 increased public awareness and government investigation of the threat of industrial effluent to water quality. Industrial chemical effluent may not be the largest water pollution problem by volume, but the components are not as well understood as those o f municipal sewage, not always easily biodegraded, and many o f their affects on ecosystems and humans are long-term affects, appearing 20 or 30 years after exposure (Mazurek 1999). Taiwanese are accustomed to boiling water to reduce the risk of fecal coliform, but boiling of water cannot remove many chemical contarninants, and biological wastewater treatment systems can be poisoned even by small amounts o f these contaminants. Hsinchu County is typical o f the western plains of Taiwan in that it is densely populated by a large variety o f industries. For many years various rivers and coastal areas in Taiwan, including Tainan's Er-yen River and Hsinchu's Shiang-Shan coast have had problems with green oysters and mass oyster deaths due to copper contamination from industrial sources (Han et al. 1993). In the case o f the HSIP, the most obvious problems to date have come from release o f heavy metals and unneutralized solvent into area streams and eventually the ocean. Overflows have been caused by a variety o f issues, including a previous lack o f capacity o f the park wastewater treatment center that resulted in an inability to receive all o f the wastewater entering from the growing production o f the fabs. Heavy rains have also caused overflow o f neutralization facilities in the past, causing mass death of fish and other aquatic species in receiving streams. In Hsinchu the most recent death o f this type occurred in July o f 2001. 3 4 Due to complaints about the HSIP ' s environmental impacts, the E P A is requiring the S IPA to file a full report detailing wastewater treatment procedures and effluent test results by November o f 2001. 3 5 Perhaps as dangerous as the immediate corrosive and toxic qualities of solvents are the less understood affects o f the cocktail o f chemicals released in the effluent from high-tech production facilities. In studies carried out in the United States and Europe, some of these chemicals have been shown to have implications for human health, especially reproductive Pers. Comm., Director of Hsinchu County Environmental Protection Bureau Report can be found on www.hsinchu.org (in Chinese) 41 health and cancer rates (Mazurek 1999). Recently Taiwanese marine biologists have published reports of snails and oysters on the Shiang-Shan (1f|JL|) coast of Hsinchu county with hermaphroditism rates o f up to 90% (Chen 2000). The R O C E P A does not yet require effluent monitoring for the majority o f chemicals used in high-tech industry in Taiwan. Due to the complexity o f the tests that would be necessary to identify individual chemicals at low concentrations in effluent, testing would be prohibitively expensive. The toxicity o f chemicals used in high-tech industry is not only a problem in itself but can impede the ability o f a wastewater treatment plant to treat more traditional wastes such as sewage. The death o f organisms used in biological wastewater treatment centers has been a problem for the newly opened Tainan Science-based Industrial Park (TSIP) as recently as spring o f 2000. 3 7 It is troubling that the TSIP is already experiencing wastewater treatment problems even though production levels there are extremely small, both in volume and variety. Therefore significant attention must be paid to the effects and toxicity o f pollutants as well as the volume released. The city and county o f Hsinchu offer an appropriate place to begin assessing the need for water policy to manage industrial effluent. The residents o f Hsinchu have been struggling to live in harmony with the Hsinchu Science-based Industrial Park and its heavy pollution load for twenty years. 3 5 Interview notes, H0312C. 3 6 Interview notes, H0402L1. 37 Interview notes, N0328B. 42 Do not wait until you are thirsty to dig a well Chapter 4: Environmental Policy in Taiwan 4.1 A B r i e f His tory Environmental Policy and many o f its supporting institutions in Taiwan are still at a rudimentary phase o f development. Taiwan encountered in the 1990s many o f the issues that U . S . environmental policy encountered during the 1970s. In an address to the Center for National Policy Newsmaker Luncheon in 1994, E P A Administrator Carole Browner cited the beginnings o f environmental policy in the United States as a reactionary process: "When our country began to pass environmental laws in the early 70's, we did it issue by issue, crisis by crisis." (Browner 1994). Taiwan also is meeting environmental problems crisis by crisis, and attempting to construct a regulatory system to prevent some of them and expedite the resolution o f those that escape prevention. In understanding the current state of environmental policy today, it is useful to review briefly the history o f the development o f environmental policy in Taiwan. Scholar J J . Wang divided the development o f Taiwan's environmental policy into six stages, each dominated by a different set o f institutions and institutional arrangements (Wang 1998). The Sanitation-Oriented Period (1955-1970) - This period was characterized by the establishment of the Laboratory of Environmental Sanitation under the Bureau o f Health, and an approach that treated environmental problems as synonymous with urban sanitation issues in a context o f rapid industrialization. 43 The Initiation Period (1970-1975) - A n interest in pollution abatement precipitated a reorganizing of the Department of Health to make room for a Bureau of Environmental Sanitation to oversee air pollution and garbage disposal. A n increase in academic environmental associations also occurred during this time. The Environmental Awareness Period (1975-1979) - A n island-wide pollution abatement initiative with international input from industrialized countries resulted from the need to respond to pollution problems. The Transitional Period (1979-1982) - The first comprehensive ten-year environmental plan, prioritization o f institutionalization and legislation of environmental management, and the beginning of public participation marked the beginning of this period. The first environmental lawsuit was brought against a brick manufacturer in 1981, and the Environmental Impact Assessment concept was introduced. The Adjustment Period (1982-1987) A reorganization o f environmental authorities to include local Environmental Protection Bureaus in large municipalities and the establishment of the provincial Department o f Environmental Protection to address island-wide issues characterized this era. Large-scale promotion of environmental projects and the formation of the A d Hoc Environmental Team of the Executive Yuan increased attention to pollution issues. The Developing Period (1987-current) saw the upgrade of the B E P to the current status of Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) , and the passing o f the first "Guideline for Environmental Policy at the Present Stage" by the Executive Yuan. Although the first draft of this guideline called for prioritizing environmental concerns over economic development, a later revision called for equal attention to the two. The current phase o f environmental history in Taiwan is marked by a pattern o f zealous promotion o f ambitious pollution reduction goals that are repeatedly revised and scaled down 44 to match the limited institutional capacity and political clout o f the E P A . Although popular support for the environment is increasing, it is not necessarily met with increases in ability o f the E P A / E P B structure to meet the increasing challenges of pollution. Furthermore, environmental concern has precipitated few changes in national approaches to industrial development and management o f industrial pollution. 4.2 Water Pollution Policy In Taiwan Water pollution policy in Taiwan is largely modeled after the United States E P A Water Pollution Act . The Water Pollution Control Act was first passed in 1971. Amendments were added in subsequent years, the latest being 1999. The Water Pollution Control Act contains two basic components: one is a punitive component, and the other is a preventative component. The former relies heavily on command and control regulatory mechanisms, including fines for illegal release of effluent into a body o f water. The pollution prevention part of the act includes the determination o f standards for industrial effluent based on the capacity o f the receiving water body. However, the E P A has not yet completed the classification o f receiving water bodies. 3 9 A pollution permitting system is included, to begin in 2002 (EPA, R O C ) . Under this system, industries would be fined i f they released more than the permit legally allowed. The first industrial effluent standards, set in 1994, were revised in 1998, to be more restrictive. 4 0 However, total water pollution is assessed by a limited number o f water chemistry tests, primarily B O D , C O D , SS, pH, and heavy metal content. There are few toxicity tests performed with live organisms, and little ecosystem assessment o f pollution impacts. 4 1 The necessity of increasingly diverse water quality testing Following the Taiwan E P A monthly newsletter provides examples o f repeated modifications o f pollution laws and standards. 3 9 Interview notes, T0404W 4 0 Interview notes T0404Y; Taiwan Water Pollution Control L a w (7kWPik$fi$aWM) 4 1 Interview notes, T0306H 45 schemes is beginning to gain recognition in Taiwan, 4 2 but the legal changes in reporting requirements both for industry and for E P B s are slow in coming. 4.3 Taiwan as Complacent Non-Innovator Taiwan's pollution policy overall is not very proactive or innovative. In conceptually defining Taiwan's current status with respect to environmental policy, an adapted version of a matrix taken from David Wallace's 1995 book, Environmental Policy and Industrial Innovation: Strategies in the U.S., Europe, and Japan proves useful (Fig. 5.1). Wallace uses the matrix to illustrate the effects o f the quality o f industry-regulator dialogue and the degree of political independence o f the regulator from industry on the ability o f a country to promote responsible innovation with respect to environmental policy. The x-axis represents the spectrum between complacency and responsibility o f the regulatory body as defined by the degree o f political independence o f the regulatory body from industry. The y-axis represents the ability o f the regulatory environment to foster industrial innovation as measured by the quality o f dialogue between industry and the regulatory body. Wallace argues that industrial innovation shows a positive correlation with the quality of dialogue between industry and the regulatory body, while regulator responsibility is directly related to the degree o f political independence that the regulator has from industry. Interview notes, H0402H 46 High A. Complacent Innovator Responsible Innovator Qual i ty of Dialogue Complacent Non-innovator Responsible Non-innovator L o w Pol i t ical Independence H i g h Figure 4.1 Industrial Innovation Matrix The X-axis represents the quality of dialogue between Industry and the regulatory body. The Y-axis represents the political independence of the regulatory body from industry (Wallace 1995). Wallace classifies countries falling into the quadrants as complacent non-innovators, complacent innovators, responsible non-innovators and responsible innovators, and notes that the majority of lesser-developed countries belong to the complacent non-innovator section o f his matrix, having both low quality industry-regulator dialogue and insufficient political independence o f the regulator from industry. Table 4.1 summarizes the characteristics o f the four quadrants in the matrix. 47 Table 4.1. Characteristics of quadrants in the innovation matrix Matrix Quadrant Characteristics Positives Negatives Complacent Non-innovator Low-quality 1-R dialogue, low Regulator independence Promotes rapid industrialization and economic growth High political risk and high potential for irremediable environmental damage Responsible Non-Innovator Highly independent regulatory system, low quality I-R dialogue Reduces likelihood of regulatory capture by industry Creates dichotomy between environmental protection and economic cost, increases probability that political party changes will elicit policy swings, reducing stability Complacent Innovator High quality I-R dialogue, tight political connections between regulatory body and industry Lowest cost environmental technology is applied, good for countries with low levels of environmental concern High political risk if environment becomes an issue nationally or internationally Responsible Innovator High quality I-R dialogue, high independence of regulatory body from industry Avoids political risk while allowing flexibility in reaching environmental goals Large effort required to keep I-R dialogue open and honest It is easy to defend the placement o f Taiwan in the complacent non-innovator quadrant when evaluated by the criteria o f industry-regulator independence and industry-regulator dialogue. Historically the majority o f industry was either owned by the K M T government itself or by loyal K M T supporters. Although recently many government corporations have been privatized (Taiwan Sugar, for example) the government still controls electricity, water, and petroleum distribution. Taiwan also suffers from lack o f a formal mechanism for industry to communicate directly with the E P A , low quality dialogue between central and local governments concerning environmental decisions, and few formal opportunities for citizen involvement. 48 Wallace's analysis framework is also a useful place to begin looking at Taiwan because it contrasts two of the countries that most influenced the development of Taiwan during the twentieth century: Japan and the United States. Wallace classifies Japan as a responsible innovator and the United States as a responsible non-innovator. During the Japanese colonial period (1895-1945) the Japanese government on Taiwan built much o f the basic infrastructure that set the stage for the rapid industrial development that ensued after the end of the second World War and the beginning o f rule by the Chinese Nationalist Party ( K M T ) . After the K M T took over Taiwan in 1947, the United States provided political, economic, and technical support while the K M T rebuilt the economy o f post-war Taiwan into a model of non-communist China. Today, the Taiwanese E P A and environmental N G O s look to the U.S . , Japan, and Europe for environmental policy and pollution management strategies, effluent and emissions standards, and technological expertise. 4 3 In this thesis I w i l l use Wallace's framework not to analyze the propensity for environmental policy to promote industrial innovation, but the propensity of the institutional framework to develop and implement innovative environmental policy. Although the industry-regulator relationships remain important, my analysis w i l l include the involvement of public interest groups and citizens in promoting progressive environmental policy. In the next chapter I wi l l argue that institutional weaknesses and external pressures play a large role in keeping Taiwan in the role o f complacent non-innovator. In contrast, I w i l l argue that Taiwan has nascent and emerging strengths that i f developed further, could enable it to move into a role of responsible innovator with respect to environmental policy. A primary description of the main institutions involved in environmental policy is integral to this discussion. Interview notes, H0313D, T0404W, T0322Z 49 Three feet of ice is caused by more than one day of cold weather Chapter 5: Analysis of Institutions A n understanding of the institutional framework is necessary in order to appreciate the difficulties Taiwan experiences in making and implementing environmental policy, and to determine the opportunities available for improving the design and function of environmental policy. For the sake of this work, I am using a definition o f institution taken from G u i Hong Sung in The Political Economy of Industrial Policy in East Asia. Institutions include not only the state and state agencies, but also state-society relations, industrial (or business) structures, the relationship between social classes, the patterns o f interest represented in domestic politics, and the relative position o f a country within the international political economic structure. Institutions are historically formulated through the accumulation o f interactions between various players within a given policy space, both from the state and society under the changing domestic and international structural constraints. Institutions in this sense are necessarily dynamic across time, society, and the industrial sector. (Sung 1997) p5. There are many definitions o f institution. Sung's definition is broader than those o f some o f other writers on institutional theory, (see North 1991, Olstrom et al 1993), in that it includes organizations, the rules that govern their interaction, and cultural norms o f the society in question. I have chosen it because it explicitly addresses all o f the pressures present in the implementation o f water pollution policy in Taiwan. Taiwan is in a stage o f dynamic change of relationships between government agencies, between the state and society, and the state and industry. Along with these internal pressures, Taiwan has long suffered ambiguous standing with respect to international politics and economy. 50 In this chapter, I w i l l describe the government and non-government organizations involved in environmental policy in Taiwan, the power divisions among them, and the mechanisms, both formal and informal, through which they interact. Specifically, I w i l l concentrate on the institutional arrangements that dictate how organizations communicate and share or safeguard information on the state of the environment, industrial pollution, and management capacity and performance levels o f industry and government. Finally, I w i l l conduct an analysis of the strengths and weakness o f the institutional arrangements according to whether they restrict or enhance the development and implementation of innovative water pollution policy and environmental policy in general. Both governmental and non-governmental organizations play a role in environmental policy decisions in Taiwan, in many instances sharing responsibility for data collection, interpretation, and the choice of policy implementation procedures. Although there is a close functional connection between environmental and economic policy, analysis o f government institutions primarily concerned with economic policy is restricted to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and its subsidiaries, the National Science Council and the Ministry o f the Interior. The M O E A and N S C are closely involved in the promotion and protection o f high tech development and natural resource management, and the M O I is instrumental in construction and wastewater management. Therefore, decisions by these agencies have the potential to be in direct conflict with environmental regulation initiatives for high tech water pollution. Some organizations have direct influence over water pollution policy by virtue o f the wording in the Water Pollution Control Act . Others have indirect, but non-the-less powerful, influence by nature o f information production and access regimes and control o f alternate initiatives that affect water use and the nature o f industrial effluent. Table 5.1 illustrates the major organizations and organization types that play a part in water pollution policy in Taiwan, and whether they play a direct or indirect role in pollution policy development. 51 Table 5.1 Major organizations that play a role in water pollution policy in Taiwan Organization Name/Type Type of Information Collected/Produced Funding Source(s) Collaborating Organizations Influence on water pollution policy Central EPA Watershed management plans; water body pollution data; EIA reports Legislative Yuan (general), MOEA (project-based) Consulting firms, subsidiaries of MOEA (WRB, WCA, IDB), industry representatives Direct Local EPBs Groundwater and surface water pollution data/local water resource management plans EPA/EPB, local governments Consulting firms, local NGOs Indirect Industrial Development Bureau (IDB) Current and future industrial water use requirements MOEA MOI, EPA, NSC Indirect National Science Council (NSC) Environmental technology trends, scientific publication and patent trends, directly oversees technology parks Executive Yuan Universities, industrial parks, government research organizations Indirect Science-based Industrial Park Administration (SIPA) Effluent data from waste-water treatment plant, factory production volumes Industry, NSC NSC, MOEA, IDB Indirect Representative Industry Associations Current industry technology, costs of meeting environmental standards Industry MOEA, industry Direct Government Research Institutions (ITRI, ERSO) Troubleshoot industrial pollution problems. Consult on changes to environmental policies Industry, EPA Industry, EPA Indirect and Direct Consulting Firms Water, soil, air contamination data; additions Industry, EPA Industry, EPA Indirect Individual Factories Use, recycle and emissions data for chemicals, water, air Industry, MOEA (innovation rewards) Consulting firms, university researchers, SIPA, sometimes EPA, Indirect Environmental NGOs (national, international and local) Technical information on environmentally friendly alternatives; local environmental data Individual donors, foundations, industry and EPA/EPB EPA/EPB, academics, citizens' groups Indirect Academia Sinica Mostly theoretical research NSC EPA, IDB, Legislative Yuan Indirect University Research Departments Mostly theoretical, some applied research EPA, NSC, Industry Industry, NGOs, EPA/EPBs Indirect 52 5.1 Government Agencies with Environmental Jurisdiction There is a hierarchy of agencies with responsibility for environmental welfare in Taiwan. At the cabinet level, there is the National Council for Sustainable Development ( N C S D ) and the Council o f Agriculture ( C O A ) . Under the N C S D there is a working group on Ocean, Land and Water Resources. Under the Council o f Agriculture is the Water and Soil Conservation Bureau. At the Ministry level, there is the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) , the Ministry o f the Interior (MOI), and the Ministry o f Economic Affairs ( M O E A ) . Under the M O E A are the following Bureaus: Industrial Development Bureau (IDB); Water Resources Bureau ( W R B ) ; Water Conservancy Agency ( W C A ) ; and the Bureau o f Mines. Under the E P A are twenty-three city and county Environmental Protection Bureaus (Roam 1999). A brief outline o f the government organizations with some jurisdiction over water management follows. Cabinet Level National Council for Sustainable Development Working group on Ecological Conservation and Sustainable Agriculture Working group on Ocean, Land and Water Resources National Science Council Science Park Administration Government science and technology research centers (ITRI and E R S O ) Ministry Level Ministry o f Economic Affairs Water Resources Bureau Water Conservancy Agency Council on Agriculture Bureau of Water and Soi l Conservation Ministry o f the Interior Construction and Planning Administration Environmental Protection Agency Water Pollution Bureau Comprehensive Planning Bureau National Institute o f Environmental Analysis (Division III: water analysis) Local Environmental Protection Bureaus 53 The National Council for Sustainable Development The N C S D was created under the Executive Yuan in 1997 by an instruction from then Vice President and Premier L i e n Chan. The chair o f the N C S D is the Minister o f State o f the Executive Yuan, and the council members are chosen from heads o f ministries, experts, and academics (Development 1999). Shortly thereafter, in 1999, the N S C D was reorganized by then Premier Vincent Siew. The N C S D chair was awarded to the Vice-Premier, the number of working groups was increased from eight to eleven, and their status elevated to ministerial status. Each o f the working groups convenes with a relevant government agency. The Ecological Conservation and Sustainable Agriculture group works with the Council o f Agriculture, for example, while the Ocean, Land and Water Resources group works with the M O E A , and the Environment and Policy Development group works with the E P A ( Taiwan National Council for Sustainable Development 1999). The Environmental Protection Administration The primary environmental policy body in Taiwan is the central Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) , which is aided at the local level by Environmental Protection Bureaus (EPBs). The Environmental Protection Administration was formed in 1987, and does not yet have cabinet-level status. It is modeled after the United States E P A , and was adopted with little modification (Berman 1998). The E P A contains 8 central bureaus, which are either media-specific or function-specific, including a Bureau o f Water Protection, Bureau o f Toxic Waste, Bureau o f A i r Quality, as well a Bureau of Comprehensive Planning, Bureau o f Environmental Monitoring and Data Processing, and administrative, legal, and educational departments4 4 For a detailed look at the E P A R O C structure, see Appendix I. Local Environmental Protection Bureaus The twenty-four Environmental Protection Bureaus at the county and city levels are influenced by both the central E P A and by their own local governments. These ties are both financial and legal: they receive funding from the central E P A and local governments, and E P A building directory; E P A R O C web-page at www.epa.gov.tw 54 are responsible to report to both. The percentage o f money that is supplied by the local government versus the central E P A varies with the city, the activity o f the given E P B , and the demands o f the E P A . The two largest municipalities in Taiwan, Taipei and Kaohsiung cities, have larger tax bases and thus have at their disposal more funds than do smaller cities in Taiwan. The Taipei and Kaohsiung E P B s can independently conduct more expensive research and pollution cleanup projects. 4 5 The central E P A gives out funds to E P B s primarily on a project basis 4 6 . In some cases, E P B s must look for alternative funding to support projects they would like to implement. 4 7 The E P A requires that the E P B s file standard reports, carry out central government policy and enforce regulations. E P B directorship positions are appointed by the local government, and therefore subject to change with changes in local leadership. Although these positions have gained greater respect in recent years, they were long thought o f as political spoils rather than professional positions. 4 i The two E P B s relevant to this research were the Hsinchu County E P B and the Hsinchu Ci ty E P B . The offices for these to Bureaus are located within a few miles from one another, and although they have separate jurisdictions, budgets, staffs, and directors, they are faced with many similar environmental problems. In the case o f the Hsinchu Science-based Industrial Park, both E P B s must design and implement approaches to mitigating the pollution impacts o f the park. However, the responsibilities o f the county E P B are arguably larger in scope, because it must also address coastal pollution issues and the concerns surrounding the effect o f the park's monopolization o f water resources on the quality o f water supplies needed for other industry, agriculture and municipal use throughout the county. 4 5 Interview notes, V0716L; Pers. comm., A E P in Taiwan. Kaohsiung and Taipei are also listed separately on the E P A R O C structure diagram. 4 6 Interview notes, T0404M. 4 7 Interview notes, H0404H. 4 8 Interview notes, H0325Z. 55 The Ministry of Economic Affairs The Ministry o f Economic Affairs ( M O E A ) was created in 1949 just after the nationalist government ( K M T ) took control o f Taiwan. Its main mission is the development of new industry and the strengthening o f current Taiwanese industries to increase their economic advantage in the world market ( M O E A 2000b). The M O E A controls 12 national corporations, including a paper company, iron works company, and the Chinese Petroleum Corporation, the Taiwan Water Supply Corporation and the Taiwan Power Company. Under the M O E A is the National Science Council , the Industrial Development Bureau, and several administrative agencies which have mandates directly related to environmental policy: the Energy Commission, the Water Conservancy Agency, and the Water Resources Bureau ( M O E A 2000b). The M O E A has almost 40 years seniority over the E P A , and the work o f all these agencies is coordinated with the M O E A long-term planning scheme. Under the umbrella o f the M O E A , the Industrial Development Bureau (IDB) is charged with the design o f industrial policy, the formulation and planning o f laws and regulations, centralized planning, coordination, and development. The I D B ' s pollution-related functions include "the prevention o f industrial pollution, the guidance o f industrial safety, and factory management" ( M O E A 2001). However, the main focus of the bureau is promotion of industry and economic growth, especially o f the small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) for which Taiwan is so well known. The Water Resources Bureau and the Water Conservancy Agency Two agencies whose mandates are closely related are the Water Resources Bureau (WRB) , and the Water Conservancy Agency ( W C A ) . The Legislative Yuan approved the W R B in September o f 1996. The W R B has five departments: policy and regulations, coordination o f water industry, waterways, and dams; water rights; water resource technology; and an information department ( E P A 1996). The W R B is primarily concerned with water resources-related policy planning. In 1999, the government o f Taiwan underwent a restructuring 56 designed to eliminate the provincial-level government and streamline governing activity. A t this time the Water Conservancy Agency was created from the Taiwan Provincial Government Water Resources Department, ( P G W R D , created in 1997) and moved from under the oversight o f the Provincial Minister to the M O E A . The Water Conservancy Agency is responsible for the implementation o f policies and measures that deal with water conservation and use, and construction related to water resource distribution ( M O E A 2001). The W C A and W R B are relatively equal in political status, and could be logically integrated. Integration has been stalled due to political resistance to the downsizing or elimination o f either organization. 4 9 5.2 Research Institutions ITRIandERSO Under the I D B are two main government industrial R & D organizations, the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) and the Electronic Research and Service Organization (ERSO) . Founded in 1974, these two organizations were initially completely government funded, but currently part of their budgets comes from private contracts with industry, while the remainder is supported by government research projects (Sung 1997). E R S O is primarily a source o f support technology for high tech industry, and was the source o f the initial technology for Taiwan's first Integrated Circuit (IC) manufacturing facility. ITRI is responsible for conducting long-term research in key technologies as well as troubleshooting current problems with industrial and manufacturing processes. The main purpose o f both ITRI and E R S O is increasing the technological proficiency and competitiveness o f industry in Taiwan. They are both located in Hsinchu city, in close proximity to the HSIP. The ITRI research group includes a Center for Environmental, Safety and Health Technology Development. ITRI 's subsidiary, Union Chemical Laboratories, includes a Pollution Pers. Comm., Taipei A E P . 57 Abatement Technology Department. While most o f ITRI gets about 50% o f its funding from the central government budge, the Union Chemical Laboratories portion is completely dependent on private contracts. 5 0 Since the ITRI staff regularly work closely with industry and have a better understanding o f industry's technological capacity for environmental reform, they are consulted when the E P A changes environmental regulations pertaining to industrial pollution. In recent years ITRI has been highly involved in addressing the problem of illegal dumping o f industrial waste. 5 1 ITRI is also responsible for writing white papers on the current state of technological development in Taiwan, and in 1998 compiled the Environmental White Paper of Hsin Chu (sic) Science Park.52 Both ITRI and E R S O play an important role in developing technology to aid industry in combating environmental problems. However, most o f the focus is either on increasing production or introducing new production lines, or on helping industry to meet current E P A effluent standards. Neither organization has the mandate for seeking out new environmentally friendly production processes or pollution reduction and abatement technologies for their own sake. There is also an effort by the central government to restrict the participation o f these organizations in competitive markets with private industry. Originally E R S O manufactured and marketed ICs alongside o f Taiwan's private industries until the industries complained about E R S O ' s competition for similar markets. The current mandated reduced economic activity o f E R S O is a result both o f M O E A ' s fear of losing control and o f private firms complaining o f E R S O ' s competition, and is an example o f coordination between the state and needs o f industry in Taiwan (Sung 1997). 5 0 Interview notes, H0313C, H0313L 5 1 Interview notes, H0313C, H0313T. 5 2 Interview notes, H0313Y. 58 Academia Sinica The Academia Sinica is a government-funded research organization that functions in many ways like the research component o f a university. The reliance o f the researchers on the government for funding has an effect on the type of research that is conducted and on the tone with which it is reported. The majority o f the research undertaken is theoretical rather than applied, 5 3 and the published results w i l l stop short o f approaching politically sensitive topics that might jeopardize future funding. One senior researcher stated that while the scientists refuse to falsify data, they may neglect to explicitly state the implications o f their research results. For example, the data might show that coastal aquatic species are contaminated with heavy metals, or that the biodiversity is decreasing. Although there might be an industrial source for the metals nearby, but the paper published by the Academia Sinica scientists would generally avoid blaming the industry by purposely failing to mention the logical cause and effect relation. 5 4 Universities In addition to data collected and reports produced by government sponsored research bodies such as ITRI and E P A / E P B , universities are a source of both environmental quality information and industrial process and pollution abatement technology research. According to ITRI representatives, university professors have more freedom in presenting their research and voicing their personal opinions on pollution and environment issues. 5 5 However, University researchers receive the majority o f their funding from the central government, either directly or indirectly through contract work for the E P A or National Science Council . Industry also hires university researchers to assist with combating pollution problems. In the case of the HSIP , the park was located in Hsinchu partially because o f the prior existence o f two technical universities: National Chiao Tung University ( ^ l l y M P ) and National Ching Hua University (fjf ap^C-lp). The professors at these universities regularly assist companies in the park in researching technical problems, environmental and otherwise. Interview notes, T0307C Interview notes, T0306H 59 Where research carried out in academic institutions is concerned, information access patterns are o f considerable interest. For example, the results o f industry-sponsored research are not accessible to the public, nor to the government unless the government has reason to suspect that the results o f the industry-sponsored research might support government suspicion o f a violation on the part o f the industry. One professor at Chiao Tung University stated that he had been working with industries in the Hsinchu science park for seven years on pollution problems, but he could not publish nor tell anyone about the results o f the research. 5 6 5.3 Non-governmental Entities with Environmental Influence Private Consulting Firms Companies that manufacture products must report effluent testing to the E P A , and these tests must be conducted by a government-certified agency. The majority o f the companies in the Hsinchu Science-based Industrial Park contract with the only certified consulting firm in Hsinchu City, although some contract with consulting firms in Taipei . This company inspects effluent samples, soil samples, and other substrates required by E P A guidelines and sends a summary report directly to the E P A . Industry also contracts with the consulting firm to conduct non-EPA-related investigations. Although the results o f the consulting firm investigations are not publicly accessible, i f the E P A or E P B suspects a violation by a company, they can write a formal letter o f request to the consulting firm, requesting the investigative records on the company. 5 7 In recent years there has been some use o f foreign consulting firms and laboratories to prevent false reporting by Taiwanese firms and increase public confidence in domestic firms and in the E P A reporting system in general. In these cases duplicate samples are sent abroad Interview notes, H0313T Interview notes, H0314H. Interview notes, H0402H 60 for testing, and the results compared to the results obtained by Taiwanese labs. However, the expense involved in this kind o f international auditing effort prohibits it from being used regularly as a check on the accuracy o f reports produced in country. In addition to certifying manufacturing firms' annual required reports to the E P A , consulting firms are contracted by the E P A to design implementation procedures for environmental policies, such as appropriate levels o f fines for corresponding levels o f violation o f pollution standards.5 8 Contracting out o f tasks such as implementation procedures and monitoring o f industry effluent greatly reduces the strain on limited E P A finances and personnel. However, it also creates a dependence o f the E P A on environmental consulting firms, giving these firms an integral role in the implementation and the enforcement o f environmental policies. Industry Manufacturing companies themselves influence the design and the efficacy o f water pollution policy. High-tech companies lobby for their interests through the National Science Council (NSC) , while traditional industries lobby through the Industrial Development Bureau or through their respective industry associations. The data companies collect on their own effluent and chemical use is extremely detailed, 5 9 and their understanding o f the chemical processes within the manufacturing facilities should allow them to have a very clear idea o f what they are sending out into the environment. However, there are no requirements for reporting o f the types and quantities o f chemicals used, and many companies claim that their right to refuse disclosure o f these chemicals is protected under proprietary and trade secret laws. There is no equivalent to a worker's right to know law in Taiwan, so workers are often unaware o f the toxicity o f the chemicals that they handle. This potentially influences the care they take in handling chemical wastes and decreases motivation to report spills. Although 5 8 Interview notes, T0404W 5 9 This was obvious from a presentation o f chemical accounting seen at one o f the semiconductor firms in the HSIP. 61 most o f the chemical activity within the manufacturing process is well-understood, as is the toxicity o f the chemicals that is less understood, especially when literally hundreds o f them occur in combinations in aqueous solution. The effect o f these chemicals on the ecosystems into which they are being discharged is virtually unknown. Waste treatment and waste disposal centers Rules and regulations for waste treatment and waste disposal centers are designed jointly by the M O E A and the E P A . The failures o f the current industrial waste management system, though, have recently been exposed multiple times. Reports o f serious industrial pollution threats repeatedly alarmed the citizens of Taiwan in 1999, 2000, and 2001. Startled by the deaths resulting from a Formosa Plastics Group shipment o f mercury tainted waste to Cambodia, the I D B and the E P A began doing mass balance calculations using production reports from industry and disposal reports from waste disposal companies throughout the country, resulting in estimates o f 100,000 tons o f "missing" (illegally dumped or buried) toxic waste (Chiu 1999). 6 0 Similarly, the dumping o f tons o f industrial solvent into Kaohsiung City 's main drinking water source, the Kaoping River sent the E P A and I D B scurrying to audit high tech waste treatment records. The closure o f the Sheng L i Waste Handler Company after the Kaoping River dumping incident had serious implications for many large producers o f solvents and other chemicals because they nowhere to send their waste for treatment. Eighty percent o f the companies in the HSIP used Sheng L i as a waste handler, and until another company was licensed by the central government, they were forced to store used chemicals on sight. Monitoring o f waste handling is a complicated process because not only the waste, but also the containers and any contaminated components must also be tracked. In A p r i l of2001, three HSIP companies were indicted for failing to recycle contaminated barrels used to hold 6 0 The Formosa Plastics shipment waste was dug up, shipped back to Taiwan, blocked to the U S , France, and Germany by protesters, and finally ended up in Holland. See Netherlands Accepts Shipment of Taiwanese Mercury Waste at http://www.greenpeace.org/pressreleases/toxics/2000mar202.html as of 08/30/01. 62 chemical waste, and selling them to barrel marketers, who then sold them as non-contaminated barrels (Chiu 2001b). The barrels changed hands several times before and after leaving the park. The severe lack o f non-recyclable waste disposal sites on the crowded island is a difficult problem to solve, as few communities w i l l accept toxic waste disposal sites nearby. The E P A addresses this problem by using the "decide, announce, defend " approach, as it frequently does with E I A decisions. In M a y o f 2001 the E P A decided to site a permanent toxic waste disposal site in Tainan county without first consulting the local government, let alone the residents (Chiu 2001b). Incidents like this attest to the continued lack of ability o f the E P A to involve local public interests when making environmental decisions. However, it could be argued that the more waste disposal sites constructed, the safer the residents o f Taiwan w i l l be. The large amount o f industrial waste produced annually in Taiwan and the small number o f licensed waste handlers opens the door for a large number o f people and firms illegitimately involved in industrial waste trafficking. There is a lot o f money to be made in waste handling, increasing the number o f people who are willing to risk being caught. The situation that precipitates effectively forces many, i f not all, legitimate firms in Taiwan resort to using illegitimate waste handlers. The fact that these legitimate firms are involved only increases the strength o f the network protecting the existence o f the illegal dumping, as the firms do not want their own names tarnished. This makes enforcement very difficult and very expensive. Environmental non-governmental organizations (ENGOs) Although government environmental agencies have existed since 1970, significant activity by non-governmental environmental institutions in Taiwan began only after the lifting o f martial law in 1987 (Wang 1998). After the lifting o f martial law and the legalization o f opposition political parties in Taiwan, the environment gained weight in political discourse. Before this time environmental action was limited to localized protests by residents against industry, and although these movements were effective, they did not turn into long-term organizations with broader environmental goals. 63 The first formal environmental non-governmental organizations (ENGOs) , such as Taiwan Greenpeace and the Taiwan Environmental Act ion Network, were formed in the late 1980s under the leadership o f the academic elite. These organizations have historically been heavily influenced by western philosophy and western environmental movements (Weller and Hsiao 1998). A few local grassroots movements were organized in the 1970s and 1980s in response to industrial threats to communities, such as the Lukang Rebellion against DuPont (Reardon-Anderson 1992). In the 1990s, multiple grass-roots environmental groups began to organize around local and national environmental issues in Taiwan, to network with each other, with academic organizations, and with international N G O s . Environmental N G O s play a role in how regulation is carried out, sometimes supporting the E P A / E P B , but often being harshly critical o f them. The adversarial relationships resulting from the criticism o f the E P B s / E P A by N G O s fragment the environmental offensive, making it more difficult to achieve improvements. A t the same time, environmental N G O s serve as a watchdog over E P B s , limiting the chances that the Bureaus w i l l be captured by the interests o f local government or industry. The legitimacy o f the E P B directorship is improving as the responsibilities o f the position become greater and the goals and work o f the E P A more public, partially as the result o f E N G O activity. One characteristic o f the E N G O movement in Taiwan is the incongruence between local grassroots environmental movements, national environmental movements and state-led initiatives. National and state-led initiatives tend to be highly scholarly in nature and employ a decidedly western-style discourse, while local environmental movements are much more likely to utilize traditional values in Taiwanese society. For example, local environmental movement leaders might stress the Confucian obligation o f passing an inheritance on to a son, in this case a clean environment, or they might utilize funeral symbolism to mourn a dying river. Often the political and financial power o f the local temple and its resident god is recruited in protests (Weller and Hsiao 1998). This cultural division between social classes in Taiwan both diversifies and divides the environmental movement. Whether this has a weakening or strengthening effect is unclear. Although this division may prevent some 64 people from using objective information sources on environmental issues, it may also allow the engagement of cultural taboos that are much more persuasive than academic logic in invoking political action. International environmental non-governmental organizations Two o f the most important contributions o f the E N G O s to the development o f environmental policy are information dissemination and the increased involvement o f foreign experts in the environmental movement. Foreign experts/scholars may contribute by completing studies that would not be easily funded in Taiwan and thus bringing to light previously undiscussed environmental issues, or by simply validating the conclusions drawn by Taiwanese experts and scholars, giving them more weight in political discourse with the state. In addition, international environmental movements and movements in developed countries affect environmental policy in Taiwan. Recently the Taiwanese government was forced to rethink a development plan for a petrochemical complex in southwestern coastal Taiwan because the chosen site was also the winter foraging habitat for the Blackfaced Spoonbill, an endangered species. International efforts to save the bird put pressure on Taiwan to reconsider the approval the E I A for the project. 6 1 5.4 Overlapping Jurisdictions and Conflicting Mandates There are several issues in the infrastructure o f Taiwan's institutions, including overlapping jurisdictions and conflicting mandates. The overlap o f authority over natural resource use and pollution prevention measures among multiple governmental ministries, agencies and departments which have conflicting primary mandates limits timeliness and content o f environmental policy and management efforts. This problem is not unique to Taiwan; In the 6 1 For more information about this development case, see the S A V E organization website at http://www-laep.ced.berkeley.edu/classes/save/. 65 United States, jurisdiction over the environment and natural resources is shared by multiple committees in the house and senate, as well as eighteen executive branch agencies (Kraft and V i g 2000). In Taiwan, water distribution, energy production, mineral extraction, and forest management all fall under the jurisdiction of various bureaus under the ministry o f the M O E A , while monitoring of pollution o f all media, preservation o f wildlife, biodiversity, and comprehensive environmental planning come under the jurisdiction of the E P A . In the case o f water, the W R B , W C A , E P A , Council o f Agriculture, and the Ministry o f the Interior, all have some jurisdiction over construction of water resource structures. The W R B / W C A are responsible for water rights, planning o f water conservation engineering, and watershed investigation and management planning. B y virtue o f environmental impact assessments, the E P A also has jurisdiction over industrial water use and water-retaining structures. Under the Water Pollution Control Act , the E P A is responsible for watershed planning and management as well . The Council o f Agriculture is responsible for the majority o f irrigation and drainage facilities, which serve approximately fifty-five percent of Taiwan's land area. 6 2 Although the M O I is primarily responsible for public works planning, the jurisdiction o f the Construction and Planning Administration (CPA) o f the M O I includes comprehensive municipal planning and the use and conservation o f natural resources. In 1999, the C P A completed planning work on Hsinchu county as part o f the "Work Plan o f the Project o f Promoting County and City Comprehensive Development", and the "Implementation Guideline for County and City Comprehensive Development Project". Encouraging rapid economic development is emphasized in the focus o f the C P A . 6 3 In addition to horizontal overlap, there is vertical overlap o f responsibilities and a lack o f symmetry between geographical division o f responsibilities under the M O E A and the E P A . For example, in some cases it is unclear whether the local E P B has jurisdiction over a polluter or whether it is necessary to bring in the power o f the E P A . In the case o f water C O A web site at http://www.coa.gov.tw/english/report/report5.htm 08/01/01 See M O I web site at http://www.moi.gov.tw/W3/outline/e-8.htm 08/01/01. 66 quantity and quality, supply management is divided into four jurisdictions in Taiwan: the Northern, Central, Southern, and Eastern Districts. But water pollution and quality monitoring, being the responsibility o f local E P B s , is on a county by county, or city by city basis. Additionally, quantity monitoring stations and quality monitoring samples are not geographically or temporally synchronized, making it impossible to compare the relationship between the two. Figure 5.1 illustrates the jurisdictional divisions between various components of water management in Taiwan, along with the ecological relationships between the resources that these various agencies regulate. The need for comprehensive environmental planning and interagency cooperation with respect to water pollution policy becomes obvious when we look at how inseparable the different aspects o f water management are from an ecological standpoint, and how very separate these same aspects are under the current jurisdictional divisions. 67 EPAMOEA conflicts Although the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) is the primary governmental agency responsible for environmental issues, jurisdiction over natural resource policy and management is heavily influenced by the agencies of the Ministry o f Economic Affairs ( M O E A ) , especially when the pollution under consideration is related to industry, such as traditional and high tech industrial parks. The respective power o f the E P A and the M O E A is important in the understanding o f environmental policy in Taiwan. According to the R O C Yearbook, the M O E A and the E P A share the same ministerial status in the governmental hierarchy. However, the results o f my interviews led me to believe that the action of the E P A is severely stifled by the M O E A and its subordinate agencies and that environmental controls are allowable only when they do not impose expenses unacceptable by industry. It is significant that the previous director o f the E P A stated, upon taking office, that the E P A would no longer be a wallflower, no longer be a rubber stamp for the M O E A . 6 4 The M O E A has influence over the E P A for two reasons: (1) the E P A , and environmental concerns in general, are not well integrated into the political system in Taiwan (Tang 1993) and (2) the responsibilities o f the subsidiaries o f the M O E A overlap with the responsibilities o f the E P A . The following quote sums up the problem between the E P A and M O E A nicely. Environmental departments and bureaus are seen as hindrances to economic expansion and possess little clout in power hierarchies. Responsibility for environmental protection is normally distributed over dozens o f agencies in several departments, usually agriculture, development, forestry, fishing, population and, o f course, environment. Louis Schubert, Environmental Politics in Asia in Kamienieki 1993, p. 248 The lack o f authority of the E P A is illustrated in clauses in pollution control acts that require the E P A to design and approve measures such as pollution control plans, limits for effluent in Interview notes, T0306H. 69 a discharge body, effluent treatment plans and construction and management of treatment facilities " in consultation with Relevant Responsible Agencies for the enterprise associated with the industry at issue" ( E P A 1991). These clauses, coupled with the advocacy o f the I D B give industry strong lobbying power with the E P A . 6 5 The Water Conservation Agency and Water Resource Bureau of the M O E A and the Water Pollution Bureau (WPB) of the E P A provide a good example o f overlap between the jurisdiction of the M O E A and that of the E P A . At the minimum, actions taken by one organization affect the work o f the other, and in some cases, actively conflict with the work o f the other. The W C A / W R B is responsible for the implementation, maintenance and management o f river improvement, while the E P A is responsible for improving water quality in the rivers. The W C A / W R B conducts investigation and integrated planning of watershed management in important river basins while the E P A approves local detailed watershed management plans designed by the E P B s . The W C A and the E P A also have dual responsibility over the preservation and improvement o f reservoir watersheds. 6 6 This type of division of authority over natural resources has two negative impacts: In some cases, it ties the hands o f the E P A in pollution management issues, and in others it devotes scarce resources to duplicate and uncoordinated efforts to address the same problem. Either way, this kind o f situation hinders the development of a comprehensive environmental policy in Taiwan. Also notable is the separation o f water quality monitoring and water quantity monitoring. The E P A oversees the former while decisions about the latter fall to the Water Resource Bureau. Almost all water bodies in Taiwan serve as receiving bodies for municipal, agricultural, or industrial waste. Water quality is measured by the ratio of pollutants or contaminants to volume o f water. Therefore, released effluent held constant, there is a positive relationship between the quality o f receiving water and the quantity of receiving water. Alternatively, i f the receiving water volume holds constant, reduction in effluent w i l l Interview notes, H0313C. Responsibilities o f W C A taken from http://www.wca.gov.tw/english/intro-01.htm 70 result in an increase in water quality. However, in Taiwan, where rainfall and river flows are seasonal, streams may run very low or even dry for part of the year, determining o f a consistent amount o f effluent that w i l l not endanger aquatic ecosystems or downstream users is very difficult. In streams that receive wastewater run dry during part o f the year, effluent may precipitate in the streambed, to be re-suspended en masse at the beginning o f the rainy season, and consequent high water volume, causing a flood o f toxic water to reach the coasts at this time, and affecting coastal fisheries. 6 7 The decisions to conserve water, reroute water, and construct reservoirs all fall under the responsibility o f the W R B / W C A with no reference to consultation with the E P A , and the lack of coordination of water quality and quantity data collection stations and monitoring makes impossible any conclusion regarding the degree to which a change in quantity effects a change in quality. Consequentially, the decisions o f the Water Resource Bureau and Water Conservancy Agency are less informed than they could be, and the E P A is left dealing with the pollution consequences o f water planning and allocation decisions. EPA/EPB conflicts While the E P A is funded at the national level, the E P B s receive the majority o f their funding from local governments. Although E P B s are increasingly allowed to design regionally tailored solutions in pollution abatement and environmental protection issues, at the same time they are increasingly responsible for finding their own funds to implement these programs. A n E P B can submit project proposals to the E P A for funding, but the competition is stiff, and proposals are frequently turned down. 6 8 Therefore, the relationship between the E P B and the local government becomes equally important as the relationship between the local E P B and the E P A . Problems potentially arise i f the local government is pro-industry, increasingly common as the overall dependence on industry in Taiwan grows, or i f the local government has motives to conceal past or current environmental harms for which it or the political party it belongs to might be held accountable. Interview notes, T0306H Interview notes, H0402H 71 The exception to the need to find funding from local authorities occurs when the central E P A requires a specific report to be produced by all local EPBs . Recognizing that the lack of systematic, time series data on pollution hinders identification o f problems and makes successes difficult to quantify, the E P A is requiring an increasing number of studies and reports at the local level. However, funding is often a limiting factor when meeting environmental monitoring challenges, let alone cleanup, 6 9 and the new mandates seldom come with sufficient new funds to allow the hire o f additional staff. Loca l E P B s find themselves dedicating more and more time to required paperwork, leaving less time for actual policing o f polluters and designing more efficient environmental management schemes. Scarcity o f financial resources and weak accountability structures reduce the probability that a mandate at the national level is translated into local action. In the case o f Hsinchu County, the most recent water pollution management plan is from 1994. The plan has not been updated nor has a follow-up plan been created. The central E P A required the original report in compliance with Article 27 o f the Water Pollution Control Act , which requires local E P B s to submit water pollution control region plans to the E P A . However, the E P A has not given out funding for subsequent reports. It is significant that although the central E P A had a copy on file, the Hsinchu County E P B ' s own copy o f the report was not accessible when I interviewed people there. The explanation given was that the report had been put into storage when the E P B moved offices two years earlier, and had not yet been taken out. 7 0 This brings into question whether the compilation o f the report was useful in the management o f local environmental problems, i f it accurately reflects the local water pollution control strategy, or i f it was just an administrative hoop. The lack o f funding and staff at the local level is partially due to the late formation of the E P A / E P B system with respect to the accumulation o f heavy environmental pollution. From Interview notes, H0315K Interview notes, H0315W 72 their inception, the E P A / E P B s faced a highly degraded environment under intense use for recreation, housing, agriculture, and industry, and a social and political body unaccustomed to funding environmental protection. This created a difficult situation for the E P B s , where they were destined to fail to meet the difficult challenges o f environmental improvement, and are subsequently heavily criticized by political and environmental groups for those failures. The problems are so many that the financial resources, human resources and time are insufficient to deal with them, but the less effective the E P B is, the less likely it is to receive further funding. Clearly, this sort o f vicious cycle does not bode well for Taiwan's environmental protection and remediation efforts. 5.5 Reporting Research and Securing Funding In the cases o f the main research institutions listed above, very little research is carried out independent o f government or industry influence, which can limit the subjects studied, the tone o f the reporting and the accessibility o f the results. This is not to say that academic scholars are not concerned about the environment or not lobbying for better environmental strategies. On the contrary, scientists in environmentally related fields do watch the environmental policies and initiatives the government puts together, sometimes requesting that more scientists or specific relevant specialists be involved in the processes o f policy making and environmental assessment.71 Scientists are normally involved purely in an advisory role. For example, scholars are included on Environmental Impact Assessment committees, but they do not have a vote in the final decision. 7 2 While researchers in the United States and Canada certainly tailor research projects and possibly reporting tone to their funding sources as well , the necessity o f this behavior is of greater consequence in Taiwan for several reasons. The recent change o f political leadership Interview notes, T0306H Interview notes, T0306H 73 after the K M T ruled Taiwan for the entire second half o f the 20 century means that there is a huge incentive to uncover or to keep covered negative environmental consequences o f governmental decisions, depending on which political party one belongs to; this results in prevention of proper cleanup or remediation o f these problems. The lack o f privately endowed research institutions reduces the number of outlets for academics whose research might reflect priorities other than those o f the central government. Finally, the lack of information access laws to ensure public access to reports prevents participation of multiple sectors of society and groups or individuals who are affected by environmental policy decisions. 5.6 Cultural Constraints and Local Politics Although financial constraints seem to be at fault for the low impact o f E P B s , cultural constraints and local politics give E P B directors and E P A department heads an incentive to conceal the fact that they cannot adequately address the work load, as this would appear to be a personal failure. 7 3 When asked about the problem o f funding and personnel shortages, a central E P A researcher replied, "Our director says that that is no excuse, we still must get the work done." 7 4 This may seem a noble stance. However, subsequent interviews with current and former E P A staff supported the conclusion that efforts to conceal negative environmental conditions or unsatisfactory performance o f E P A / E P B are frequent, and are rooted in the fear of being accused o f incompetence, in spite o f the fact that the real problem may not lie with the programs or the people who carry them out, but with the resources available to carry them out. 7 5 The social traditions o f Taiwan work against honest reporting and straightforward addressing o f performance and structural weaknesses in the E P A . When a public official responds less Interview notes, V0215L Interview notes, T0404W 74 than adequately to a problem which he or she has the legal position to administer, there is a tendency for the official to step down of his or her own volition or for political enemies to request that an official abdicate the position. What at first seems to be a strict quality control mechanism, in reality it has the effect o f producing a situation where it in the officials' best interest to conceal any difficulties faced by their departments. This masks the structural problems that impede adequate handling of environmental crises, and leads to much finger-pointing in attempts to pin the blame on a single person or on a party. Recent accounts o f calls for resignation of public officials over political and professional errors are common. The new head o f the E P A , Edgar L i n Jun-Yi ( # f ^ t l ) , and the Minister of Transportation & Communications Y e h Chu-Lan (W^W) who stepped down in spring 2001 after failing to respond quickly enough to an oi l spill off the coast o f Kenting National Park(Lin 2001). The same year, National Science Council head Weng Cheng-Yi 's (mMCm) resignation after high tech manufacturers cancelled plans to put fabs in the new Tainan Science Park (Huang, Joyce 2001). President Chen Shuibian was even asked to resign for attempting to halt the building o f the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant issue, an integral part o f his platform during his campaign for presidency. Loss o f face resulting from failure or novelty is a strong deterrent to public officials who might aspire to actually modify the emphasis on environment-versus economy in a manner that is more than rhetorical. In addition to political pressures to maintain a respectable image, local E P B ' s have the added burden o f being responsible for the confidentiality o f reported environmental grievances. In the case of the Hsinchu city E P B , employees recounted incidents o f anonymous death threats (from polluters fearing fines or legal repercussions) and angry citizens who feel that the E P B has caused them personal danger by leaking information about their reporting activities. Fear for their personal safety, low pay, cramped working conditions, and long hours are a few of the drawbacks o f being an E P B employee. However, the majority o f the employees have a Interview notes, H0403H; V0615C, H S I P / S V T C conference speeches. 75 strong belief in the environmental cause, and therefore are wil l ing to put in the time and energy (and accept a certain level o f risk) in spite o f the less than ideal circumstances. 7 6 Local government Vs industry Local citizens and local politicians are in a love-hate relationship with the HSIP. In Hsinchu, high tech industries are responsible for economic wealth, rapid cultural change and economic structure, and for creating an abundance o f pollution problems. Hsinchu County is traditionally a rice farming community. One can still see shops selling solely rice noodles to tourists and residents alike and the culinary specialty is still chao mifen (i&ffiffi) a stir-fried rice noodle dish. The high-tech boom has changed the once-small town in many ways. Although the majority o f the companies within the park enjoy exemption from taxes by N S C decree and thus contribute minimally to the tax base, the thousands o f relatively well-paid fab workers and IC engineers keep Hsinchu's restaurants and shops in business and the presence o f the park keeps property values high. In spite o f bringing a degree o f prosperity and reputation to the area, the HSIP has created few job opportunities for local residents, as the majority o f the jobs are filled by skilled workers from other places in Taiwan and around the world. The park's population also adds to the congestion o f the narrow streets o f a once small city, creating an accelerated need for investment in physical infrastructure. The less than black and white relationship among regulators, polluters, and local government is illustrated in the following scenario. In A p r i l o f 2000, a scandal erupted when the mayor o f Hsinchu county, Tsai Jen Chien (HfHi?) was accused by United Microelectronics Corporation (JPH1) one o f the largest fabs in the park, o f blackmail (Chiu 2000a). The Environmental Impact Assessment for the expansion o f the U M C fab was rejected, two years after the fab had already been in operation. Companies in the park stated that the likely reason for this was the lack o f commitment by U M C to financial donation to a Hsinchu City public works fund to support infrastructure maintenance and improvement o f the city in an attempt to offset the negative social and environmental aspects resultant from the park. The Interview notes, H0404H 76 mayor denied that there was any animosity between the city and the park (Chiu 2000a; Chiu 2000b). Incidents like this illustrate the complicated networks o f influence that affect the implementation o f any policy in Taiwan, whether it be economic, health, or environmental policy. However, pollution policy is one o f the most controversial since it often seems to promote antagonism between economic and environmental issues, both o f which affect quality o f life. These often hidden social and political factors exacerbate the triangle o f distrust introduced earlier in the thesis. 5.7 Institutional Capacity Institutions in environmental policy are necessary to maintain resource quality, govern resource allocation to individuals, and create a structure for complaints and grievances to be aired. Whether in the form o f organizations, rules, or cultural norms, institutions are never perfect, never collaborate flawlessly, and may consciously or unconsciously hinder the success o f each other's agendas. In Taiwan, some o f the institutional weaknesses pose a great threat to the success o f water pollution policy. Returning to the innovation matrix, i f Taiwan is to move out o f the role o f complacent non-innovator and into the role o f responsible innovator with respect to environmental policy, weaknesses in the institutional relationships must be eliminated or compensated for, while institutional strengths must be reinforced and utilized. Institutional weaknesses In analyzing the institutional framework surrounding environmental policy in Taiwan, several areas represent significant hurdles for effective development and implementation o f innovative environmental policy. In this section, I have divided the institutional weaknesses into those which reduce either the quality o f communication between industry and the regulatory body, those which hinder the independence o f the regulatory body from industry, and those which reduce the level o f public confidence in industry or the regulatory body. Strengths, by comparison, are those traits that better the quality o f dialogue, increase 77 regulator independence, or serve to build public confidence in industry or the regulatory body. Preventing quality industry-regulator dialogue Several things affect the quality o f dialogue between industry and regulators. First, there is a great deal o f distrust between regulators and industry. Industry leaders have little faith in the E P A employees' understanding of technical ability or limitations and the financial costs o f environmental po l icy . 7 7 I f E P A expertise is considered by industry representatives to be lacking, or worse, actually is lacking, then the opportunities for constructive dialogue are limited. One particular example o f this type phenomenon involves the lack o f experience o f the E P A in setting air emissions standards. The E P A often uses U.S . , European, or Japanese numbers when setting new standards for pollutants in Taiwan. However, given Taiwan's aggressive use o f space and resources and its specific industrial composition, standards borrowed from other countries may be unachievable and need to be changed. There are numerous examples in recent years o f the E P A changing standards, sometimes even monthly, while trying to reach an improvement that is both achievable and significantly reduces environmental impact. 7 8 This creates an unstable regulatory environment, encouraging firms to take a "wait and see" attitude when faced with new effluent standards rather than being proactive about reducing environmental impact. In cases where industry does have input into the detennination o f effluent standards, it is in industry's best interest to play down technological capacity to meet higher standards in order to reduce the effort they w i l l have to expend meeting and maintaining these standards. There are both opportunities and incentives at many levels in Taiwan to hide or guard information about type and extent o f pollution. The lack o f legal means to hold the central Follow-up questionnaires, 1, 2, 3, 4 7 8 A review o f the R O C E P A monthly newsletters in the year o f 2000 illustrates regular changes in emission standards. 78 government accountable for carrying out its own environmental laws or to hold industries accountable for the negative effects o f their production on workers or nearby residents leaves large opportunities for exploitation o f the environment for corporate gain. Cultural norms that discourage questioning, let alone rejecting, the decisions o f one's superiors or those politically stronger, coupled with the fear o f authority long cultivated under martial law, also increase opportunities for concealment o f information regarding pollution or violation o f environmental regulations. Take advantage o f the opportunities and cashing in on the incentives to conceal environmental violations is a strong network o f illegitimate firms dealing in pollution in Taiwan. The two conditions precipitating this black market for waste disposal have been mentioned before: there is simply more waste produced than the licensed firms can accommodate, and even licensed firms do not necessarily appropriately process and dispose o f the waste they take into custody, either because they actually accept what is beyond their processing capacity, or because they simply want to save the cost o f appropriately treating and processing waste. In August 2000, after the catastrophic poisoning o f the Kaoping River in southern Taiwan, the Industrial Development Bureau admitted that o f the 1.5 mill ion tons of hazardous waste produced each year in Taiwan, only around 600,000 tons are treated by waste handling companies (Web 2000). The rest o f the waste is presumably dumped illegally. The lack o f thorough accounting and careful auditing has allowed this type o f major pollution to go unhindered in Taiwan until recently. Furthermore, there is little incentive for industry to report delinquent waste handling companies. I f the waste handling companies are shut down, then the industries themselves must store or treat the waste they produce. Closely related to this is the money to be made in bribes to public officials to cover up a factory's environmental transgressions. On the other hand, revealing mistakes, failures, corruption, or simply an unaddressed problem, might have huge social and professional consequences. The abundance o f incentives, both financial and cultural, to gloss over weaknesses o f any sort is a huge hindrance to communication of any kind, including regulator-industry communication. These circumstances are caused by and 79 precipitate a lack o f political w i l l to enforce current environmental policies, and to innovate new policies. In addition to the intentional barriers to information sharing between industry and regulators, the dependence o f the Taiwanese economy on small- and medium-sized firms (SMEs) complicates the logistics o f regulator-industry dialogue. S M E s make up 98% o f all companies on the island, provide approximately 80% of all jobs, and contribute more than 50% o f total exports. 7 9 In many cases, larger firms contract these small factories, both registered and unregistered, to conduct the highest polluting stages o f production, intensifying the gravity o f the problem 8 0 . The vertical segregation of production processes makes environmental accounting and life-cycle analysis of products difficult for regulators. This makes it easy for large companies to separate themselves from the pollution generated by the basic stages o f production o f their products, especially when the contract arrangements cross international borders, as is common in the high tech industry. One industrial sociologist and Asia studies scholar, in response to a question posed after his keynote speech to the 2001 North American Taiwan Studies Association, stated, "In a word, small- and medium-sized firms are environmentally unfriendly." 8 1 This network, unmanageable from the environmental regulation perspective, and highly resilient from an economic and social perspective, has been cultivated by governmental policies that encouraged rapid growth o f the production sector without adequate pollution controls or waste management facilities. Inhibiting regulator independence from industry Some o f the same structural issues that affect the quality o f dialogue between industry and the E P A / E P B also affect regulator independence. For example, the lack o f access to information on technological capacity o f industry, and on the types o f chemicals and ^ materials used in industry hinders the E P A ' s ability to make and enforce appropriate decisions concerning industrial effluent. Lack o f resources in local E P B s reduces the 9 See M O E A web page at http://www.moea.gov.tw/~meco/cord/HTM/authority_e.htm 0 Interview notes, H0325Z 1 2001 N A T S A conference, June 22-25, University o f Washington, Seattle, Washington. 80 likelihood that they w i l l have the funding and personnel to pursue projects that bring industry and regulators together in cooperative efforts to solve or prevent pollution problems. Insufficient funding o f E P B s also reduces the independence o f the regulatory body by increasing dependency on local governments, which have their own agendas and depend on industry for income. Also affecting regulator independence is the relative weight, stage o f development, and funding o f the central E P A when compared to the M O E A and its subsidiaries. Although the E P A technically holds the same rank as the M O E A , the latter is much older, having been formed in 1949, long before the E P A in 1987. Partially due to seniority, the M O E A is better integrated into the Taiwanese government and legal system, and therefore has more political influence and support. 8 2 In the early days o f the E P A , the M O E A and industry representatives played a large role in setting E P A standards, and the E P A still depends on the M O E A for part o f its funding. 8 3 One interview subject described a meeting o f M O E A and E P A officials where industry representatives voiced complaints about pollution standards that were too costly to meet. The M O E A representative noted that the complaints were unfounded because industry representatives themselves had set them ten years earlier. 8 4 Although the E P A has matured considerably since its inception in terms o f technical and management expertise, industry interests still play a significant role in setting E P A standards for industrial effluent. A prime example is the Water Pollution Control Act , which dictates that the E P A may not set effluent standards or fine levels without consultation with the "relevant industry representative." In most cases this role is filled by the president or secretary general o f the industry association, such as the Chemical Engineering Duty and Responsible Care Association, the Textiles M i l l s Dying Industrial Association, or high-tech industry representative, for example. 8 5 Interview notes V1801N1 Interview notes, T0404M Interview notes, V0716L Interview notes, T0404W Lack o f sufficient funding o f the E P A / E P B s effectively reduces the ability o f the regulatory bodies to keep up with changes in industrial development that are occurring at a rapid rate, subsidized by the M O E A . Concern with the shortage o f staff, funding, and equipment was clearly voiced by the directors o f the Hsinchu City and the Hsinchu County E P B s at meetings with community members, N G O s and HSIP industry representatives in March o f 2001. The staff and funding o f a local E P B does not necessarily correspond to the geographical area the E P B must administer, nor the number or type o f industries present in that area. Recently, E P B s have been given increased freedom to design local, context-specific projects, but with this freedom comes increased responsibility for finding alternative sources o f funding, therefore tying E P B projects to the desires o f local governments and industry. Inhibiting citizen confidence in industry and government Although the lack o f transparency in the Taiwanese government was implicated in both the above categories, it is a significant enough problem to merit further discussion. Lack o f transparency fosters distrust, enables government and private corruption, and contributes to poor information exchange, precipitating poor design and performance o f environmental policies. Summaries o f two case studies, outlined below, illustrate how this lack o f transparency plays out in Taiwan. In the case o f the Chiku lagoon, wintering ground o f the endangered black-faced spoonbill, national protests and international opposition temporarily halted the E I A approval process for the Binnan petrochemical complex. However, the conditional approval o f the development was awarded in a closed, unannounced meeting on December 15, 1999 (Hou 2000), precipitating cries o f protest from fishermen, conservationists and environmentalists 8 6. One major criticism o f the Binnan E I A points to the larger issue o f E P A / E P B capacity. The E P A was criticized by S A V E (Spoonbill Act ion Volunteer Echo) International (a foreign-based N G O ) for not having the manpower or funding to properly monitor the effects o f the For more information about this development case, see the S A V E organization website at http://www-laep.ced.berkeley.edu/classes/save/. 82 development projects it conditionally approves, effectively turning a conditionally approved project into an unconditionally approved project (Ho, 2000). In the case o f the United Microelectronics Corporation fab facility expansion, the industry claimed that because U M C was not a new company in the HSIP, it was excused from the E I A requirement imposed on new development projects. The review o f the E I A occurred only two years after construction began, when the new plant was already in operation. National Science Council chairman, Hwang Jenn-tai, claimed that the company was innocent, and had followed the Science Park Administration's guidelines (Chiu 2000b). The E I A was quickly approved in order to cut financial losses to the company. The fact that a failure by a high profile company ( U M C is the second largest manufacturer o f semiconductors in Taiwan) in a high profile industrial park to file a legally required E I A went unchallenged for two years supports the conclusion that Taiwan has a lot o f work to do in increasing the transparency o f environmental and legal proceedings. In the HSIP, contaminated wastewater is a major concern. The limited overall exchange o f information concerning chemicals used in manufacturing or released into the environment in Taiwan does not help to dispel the distrust that citizens and regulators have for industry. Companies are not legally required to report releases or to notify workers or communities o f the types o f chemicals used in production, nor their respective health hazards. High-tech industries in particular are loath to release any information on chemicals used in production processes, claiming that they are trade secrets. There is certainly some degree o f fear o f exciting nearby residents and even employees with the release o f this kind o f information. More than once I was told by interview subjects that making this type o f information public would result in social upheaval and misuse o f the data by "people who did not understand." Closely related to the lack o f transparency is the multitude o f uncoordinated collection o f data on pollution and pollution effects, and the complex hierarchy o f rights to access information, which correspond to monetary support and political ties. The lack o f coordinated horizontal data sharing between arms o f government and vertical collaboration between levels withrn governmental has a negative affect on the efficacy and efficiency o f environmental policy by decreasing the speed at which government can adequately evaluate 8 3 and reaction to ineffective policies. This lack o f ability to manage.environmental problems decreases public confidence. Additionally, careful guarding o f E P A meeting notes and lack o f efficient mechanisms for informing citizens o f public hearings and other mechanisms for their input into environmental policy reduces public support and trust o f the E P A capacity. In addition to limited means for participation in pollution policy, social factors limit the wi l l that people have to participate. Citizens are sometimes afraid to be involved in reporting o f pollution problems for fear that it w i l l cause them political trouble or personal danger. Institutional Strengths A s noted above, many o f the institutional weaknesses in Taiwan are related, either directly or indirectly, to the restriction o f information and data availability among government agencies, between government and industry, or between the public and government and industry. Currently information is lacking in many areas, including ecological baseline data and industrial pollution data. Fortunately, Taiwan has the researcher expertise to collect these data, the technological development to coordinate and publish data, and sufficient funds to support this effort, should the government choose. Taiwan has many institutional strengths that have allowed its environmental movement to develop to its current stage in a comparatively short time in the face o f the aforementioned limitations and political pressures. A t first glance these strengths are not so clearly connected to the three goals o f improving quality o f industry-regulator dialogue, improving regulatory independence, and building public confidence and support. However, Taiwan's institutions are beginning to lay the groundwork for progressive environmental policy, and there are definitely opportunities for filling the gaps and addressing current problems. Additionally, some o f the traits that are currently weaknesses, such as an industrial structure based on small- and medium-sized enterprises, could potentially be harnessed as strengths. Simplification of Regulation and Development of Legal Structure 84 Improvements in information flow are necessary to improve the quality o f dialogue between regulators and industry. Simplification and integration o f the regulatory agencies responsible for natural resource management and pollution prevention, is a first step, to be followed by clarification o f their respective jurisdictions. Taiwan is currently approaching this problem with a twofold approach. The recent elimination o f the provincial level o f government has the effect o f removing one layer o f bureaucratic red tape, simplifying the process o f legislation and implementation o f regulations. In addition, there are plans to consolidate and coordinate central government agencies currently involved in water resources management. Plans to reorganize the government to consolidate environmental management at the central government level promise to ease the current difficulties caused by jurisdictional overlap and lack o f coordination among various government agencies where the environment is concerned. Simplification o f the regulatory structure coupled with increased legal support for implementation o f legislation, including environmental reporting, promises to increase accountability o f the regulatory agencies. This in turn wi l l help to increase public confidence in government overall and environmental policies in particular. Legal support is also crucial to the betterment o f water pollution policy in Taiwan. A n increase in the involvement o f legal scholars in environmental policy in Taiwan is supporting the increased robustness and utility o f environmental regulations. One major improvement in the legal framework affecting the work o f the E P A was the passing o f the Administrative Procedures Act, the implementation o f which promises to eliminate much o f the previous departmental and individual discretion in the lawmaking process. A growing interest in environmental and social justice legislation such as workers' right to know and community right to know acts are increasing the likelihood that citizens and workers w i l l be able to participate in the upholding o f environmental policies. These laws may also increase the likelihood that central government agencies and elected representatives w i l l have access to better data on water pollution, and be in a better position to design and enforce appropriate preventative and remedial environmental laws. At the minimum, increased discussion o f environmental risks and worker and community rights w i l l likely engage legislators, forcing them to pay more attention to and become more educated about pollution threats and pollution control policies. 85 In addition to simplification and strengthening o f the number o f pathways through which industry and regulators communicate, increasing the technical expertise o f the regulatory body, especially with respect to industrial processes and pollution, is also important to the development of good industry-regulator dialogue. E P A employees are increasingly trained abroad in the U . S . and Japan, countries with more years o f experience with environmental pollution and policies. Increases in the use o f computer technology, networking, and data management and analysis tools such as Geographic Information Systems are increasing the level of sophistication o f the E P A . Increasing accountability and data collection The independence o f the regulatory body from industry relies partially on increasing public accountability, defining legal parameters within which the regulators have the right to make decisions, and filling in information gaps in data sets so as to reduce regulator dependency on industry for basic information. Three aspects o f Taiwan's current institutional infrastructure show positive gain in this area. One is the changing the status o f local E P B directorship from a political spoil to a professional post. Although the position is still chosen by the head o f the local city or county government, in recent years appointees have been chosen as much for their expertise as for their political or personal affiliation. This increases the capacity o f E P B s to perform where environmental issues are concerned, as well as increasing public confidence in and industry respect for the E P B . In addition to domestic improvements, Taiwan is increasing the amount o f collaboration between the R O C E P A and national environmental governance bodies in other countries. One example of this is the Asian Environment Program (AEP) o f the American Institute in Taipei (AIT), which is the United States' de facto embassy in Taiwan. The U S E P A signed a memorandum o f environmental cooperation between the A E P and Taiwan. The A E P initiates approximately 12-15 projects per year on environmental issues. Although these programs have been criticized as "black box" technology transfer initiatives (Berman 1995a), cultivating outside contact has the benefit o f increasing the knowledge and power o f the E P A in Taiwan. Formal relationships between the U . S . and the R O C E P A include training on 86 standard setting and fine setting for water pollution regulation infractions. 8 ' Such arrangements are especially encouraging given the general lack o f intergovernmental ties between the United States and Taiwan. In recent years, the E P A has recognized the need for standardized data collection and has increased reporting requirements from the local E P B s . 8 8 This enhances the capacity o f the environmental governance body as a whole. The independence o f the E P A / E P B also depends heavily on how much data they have the capacity to collect or verify themselves. In addition, information on water pollution gathered from other countries can aid the E P A in better management o f the problems facing Taiwan. The more data the E P A has and the better E P A officials understand the details o f pollution problems, the less they need to rely on industry for technical information on topics such as effluent content and the hazards o f effluent. Environmental N G O s are playing an increasingly significant role in foreign data collection. Organizations like Taiwan Watch collect scholarly environmental information from other countries, translate it into Chinese, and make it available within Taiwan. In this way much o f the applied ecology research that is not well-funded in Taiwan finds its way into the mainstream o f Taiwanese academic discourse. Increasing public confidence in industry and the regulatory body The relationship between the government and the governed on Taiwan has changed dramatically in the past 25 years. In 1987, martial law was lifted and the ban on opposition political parties was subsequently removed. In 1991 the K M T officially changed the nature of its claim to Taiwan. For the 40 years prior to this, the K M T had maintained that their greater goal was to retake mainland China, and Taiwan was, explicitly or not, only a temporary post where the K M T could regroup, and amass economic and military resources in preparation to return to oust the communist government. The K M T has been heavily criticized for this "stopover mentality" which translated in prioritization o f investments resulting in rapid economic return over investment in long term infrastructure and urban Interview notes, T0404W Interview notes, H0403H 87 planning necessary for sustainable development of. The official abandonment o f the agenda to retake the mainland along with the emergence o f opposition political parties increased the scrutiny o f former, current, and future development decisions in Taiwan. Currently there are four major political parties in Taiwan, including one o f the first Green parties in Asia . With the election o f Democratic Progressive Party presidential candidate Chen Shui-bian (|^7J<.^) in March 2000, the first n o n - K M T leader in over 50 years, the reality o f multi-party democracy finally came home to Taiwan. The benefit o f diversification o f government for the environment may come primarily in increased accountability and greater opportunities for criticism o f the actions o f the ruling party. The D P P has many incentives to expose K M T environmental transgressions in order to garner public support for itself and reduce support for the K M T . However, the revelation o f decades o f environmental pollution and its legacies may raise public health concerns and expectations for environmental cleanup; failure to meet those expectations could turn out to be detrimental to the D P P . In other words, the likelihood that a government w i l l expose an environmental danger is probably proportional to the capacity o f the government to remove that danger. It is also worth noting that the Taiwanese government has become increasingly populated by representatives who were born and raised on Taiwan, and with this change has come a greater focus on sustainable development o f Taiwan. Younger generations think o f themselves as Taiwanese, and as the shadow o f martial law fades, the media is diversifying, becoming more critical o f the government, and people are less afraid o f endangering themselves and their families by voicing liberal political views. Changes in technology, especially Internet technology, are fueling communication among a whole new generation o f Taiwanese activists, and between Taiwanese activist groups and others around the world. Additionally, the E P A has made it easier for whistleblowers to report environmental misconduct through the establishment o f the environmental hotline, a service run by the E P A that allows anonymous reporting o f environmental crimes. Industrial Accountability is developing more slowly. Industries in Taiwan still enjoy a privileged position because they are seen as so necessary for the continuance o f the huge 88 export economy which maintains a degree o f international political importance for the island. The introduction o f the ISO 14000 series has increased industrial accountability slightly through its requirements o f regular reporting. The ISO certification process includes no outside audit, and lacks a system o f checks on the content and significance o f environmental improvements. However, one researcher noted that in spite o f this, the introduction o f a system o f communication about environmental issues to the Taiwanese industrial setting is significant in itself because it affords access to top management by people who normally would have none. 8 9 This access w i l l hopefully aid workers on the front line in the communication o f environmental risks and means o f reducing these risks to their superiors. Participation of citizen groups The environmental movement in Taiwan is very active and beginning to mature. Recent polls indicate that Taiwanese rank the environment as their number one concern. Young, dedicated people beginning to rise to significant positions in the E P A and local E P B s , and increasing involvement o f foreign scholars and networking with international organizations, Taiwanese N G O s are learning to harness political, legal, and social forces to tackle environmental problems. With the increase in domestic and international publicity and concern for environmental issues, and growing experience and confidence in democracy, members o f the Taiwanese society as a whole are showing increased interest in voicing their positions and participating in environmental protection efforts (Tang and Tang 1997). Supporting this movement, especially in the role o f information dissemination, are the environmental N G O s . E N G O s in Taiwan are becoming increasingly sophisticated, efficiently tapping into domestic and international resources. Recent advances in the power o f the N G O force can be seen in the result o f several cases: The actions o f the Spoonbill Act ion Volunteer Echo ( S A V E ) group forced the reconsideration o f plans to build a petrochemical complex on the Chiku Lagoon in Tainan county in Southern Taiwan that would have endangered the winter habitat o f the majority o f the worlds remaining black-Interview notes,T0227W 89 faced spoonbills; The Meineng (Meinong) People's Association successfully halted the construction o f a dam and reservoir that would have required the relocation o f people o f their village; and the Y a m i people's strong resistance to the enlargement o f a nuclear waste disposal site on their homeland o f Orchid Island demanded the attention o f Taipei and increased dialogue on the issue o f safe disposal o f nuclear waste. It is important to note that none o f the above cases have not been complete victories for residents or environmental groups, but at least concerned communities have successfully forced the central government to pay more attention to the environmental impacts o f economic decisions. The visibility o f the R O C E P A ' s growing international ties to the U . S . E P A and to Japanese and European Environmental Agencies builds public confidence in environmental policy development in Taiwan. Furthermore, the E P A , like the government as a whole, is increasingly drawing employees from the younger generation who have traveled and studied abroad and brought their experiences with cleaner, better protected natural environments back to Taiwan. Many o f the younger generation are at least as concerned about environmental integrity as they are about economic prosperity. This is not to say that within a short time the power and the capacity o f the E P A w i l l increase greatly, but in these educational exchanges and generational change there is potential for gradual change o f priorities within the central government and bolstered strength o f environmental legislation. A n ecologist at the Academia Sinica noted that the priorities o f the country follow the priorities o f the society when the current leader(s) was (were) growing up. For example, in L i Deng Hui's formative years, the real worry was whether or not there would be food to eat, and therefore his policies followed this priority o f economic development. Using this logic, it w i l l take another generation before the decision-making positions in Taiwan are filled by persons who have grown up more concerned about environmental pollution than economic subsistence. Basic and technological literacy 90 One characteristic o f Taiwan that should not be underestimated is the heavy cultural and political emphasis on basic education and adoption o f high technology, resulting in a highly literate and technically educated population (Amsden 1992). These two characteristics can facilitate rapid dissemination o f information on pollution threats, rapid involvement o f citizens in environmental policy decisions, and increasing confidence o f the public in the regulatory body. E N G O s rely on international communication networks for information and political support. In this way the high tech backbone in Taiwan has contributed to the development and coordination o f the citizen participation movement (Walls 1998). The high percentage o f scientifically educated members o f the representative legislature puts Taiwan ahead o f many newly industrialized countries in terms o f social capacity to understand the science behind pollution issues and technological change. In 1998, 96 o f the 225 members o f the Legislative Yuan held advanced degrees in science. 9 0 According to representatives o f the HSIP administration, however, neither E P A officials nor Legislative Yuan members have an advanced understanding o f the needs and technological capacity o f high tech industry. 9 1 The high level o f technical expertise in government may be integral to improving the quality o f dialogue between government and industry. Finally, the adaptability o f the small and medium-sized firms that form the economic base o f Taiwan could be used to the country's advantage in development o f innovative ways to reduce pollution and improve environmental performance. Taiwan's S M E s have thrived because they are able to change rapidly at the whim o f the market. There is tremendous cultural and structural ability within this large sector o f society to embrace and adapt to change. Although there are still many barriers to harnessing the diversity and adaptability o f the S M E sector for the betterment o f the environment, technology such as geographical information systems and electronic databases linked via the Internet could aid efforts to implement innovative environmentally friendly processes. Ease o f change in the S M E sector offers a potentially rapid way to make significant improvements in pollution reduction. y u Interview notes, T0413C1 9 1 Interview notes, (follow-up questionnaire) H0302C 91 Table 5.2 Summary of barriers to development of environmental policy, institutional weaknesses that have caused or maintained these barriers, and strengths that can be utilized to overcome them. Barrier Specific Issues Institutional Weakness Institutional Strengths Information/data weaknesses Too little collection Lack of emphasis on comprehensive baseline ecological data Lack of funding for applied ecology research Existence of both researcher expertise and funds sufficient to complete national data sets Non-standardized collection Lack of national data-collection framework., ability to pinpoint weak points Highly technically literate population, widespread internet access 92 Table 5.2 continued: Summary of barriers to development of environmental policy, institutional weaknesses that have caused or maintained these barriers, and strengths that can be utilized to overcome them. Barrier Specific Issues Institutional Weakness Institutional Strengths Low quality dialogue between industry and regulators Restrictions on information flow Lack of legal structure to support information reporting Increasing involvement of legal scholars in environmental issues. Passing of Administrative Procedures Law will increase accountability of lawmakers and EPA. Industry sees regulator as an adversary Lack of industrial expertise in EPA and Legislative Yuan EPA staff are increasingly literate in industrial technology Lack of clear, formalized routes of communication between industry and regulators. Regulatory responsibilities divided between multiple government jurisdictions, complicating the industry-regulator dialogue connections. Plans to restructure government in order to elevate power of EPA and integrate environmental management within central government Industrial structure dominated by small- and medium-sized enterprises and existence of many unregistered factories, which are difficult to regulate. SMEs are amenable to rapid change 93 Table 5.2 continued: Summary of barriers to development of environmental policy, institutional weaknesses that have caused or maintained these barriers, and strengths that can be utilized to overcome them. Barrier Specific Issues Institutional Weakness Institutional Strengths Lack of regulator independence 1 n formation/data gaps Regulatory body does not have access to much of the information collected by industry, and does not have its own data in many pollution-related areas EPA is increasing reporting requirements and standardized data collection Standard-setting requires consultation with industrial representatives EPA is young, little experience setting standards Strong connections with environmental governance institutions in other countries EPB projects dependent on support of local government and industry Understaffed, underfunded EPB directors/staff are increasingly hired based on expertise rather than political connections. 94 Table 5.2 continued: Summary of barriers to development of environmental policy, institutional weaknesses that have caused or maintained these barriers, and strengths that can be utilized to overcome them. Barrier Specific Issues Institutional Weakness Institutional Strengths Low public confidence in regulatory body and in industry History of Cultural norms support the New government and increase in government- equation of professional political choices will increase sanctioned relationships to personal accountability and increase pollution and relationships, increasing incentives to expose past government the incidence of political environmental abuses collusion with favors to business industry relations. Low public access Poor and few venues for NGOs are collecting, publishing, to information on industry and regulator and distributing both domestic regulatory communication with and foreign information. rationale, public. Fear that public Government is publishing more industrial might "misuse" and more data to allay fears of technology, and information. citizens environmental affects of industrial pollution Low public Lack of transparency in Transparency initiative being involvement in industrial development and developed. environmental environmental policy NGOs (local and international) policy decisions decisions increase pressure on government and restricted to reveal documentation on and access to defend environmental decisions. regulator-industry Increasing study of TW by meetings. Lack of foreigners, and exchange with advertisement of foreign policy experts. "public" hearings on environmental issues. 95 Given the issues listed above, the question that needs to be asked is whether or not Taiwan can modify institutional structures in order to compensate for or eliminate weaknesses, capitalize on strengths and develop nascent potential. Furthermore, what might be the logical first steps to bring about change without disrupting the delicate domestic political balance or jeopardizing Taiwan's international status? The reorganization o f the relationships among government agencies, between government and industry, and between these two and the public w i l l require an honest assessment by both government and industry, free sharing o f information, creative innovation and socially responsible application o f environmentally friendly technology, cooperative management o f resources for the good o f all Taiwanese, and development o f a social acceptance o f errors that allows for weaknesses to be brought to light and addressed. 96 Water can be a fortune, and it can also be a disaster Chapter 6: Improving Water Pollution Policy in Taiwan The ultimate goal is to create a political environment conducive to the continuous creation o f innovative environmental policies that wi l l enable Taiwan to overcome Berry's three criticisms o f modern environmental policy: lack o f political w i l l ; disconnectedness from the biophysical base; and lack o f awareness o f the interconnections within and among ecosystems, and between human behavior and environmental integrity. In this final chapter, I w i l l suggest some steps that Taiwan might take to begin to reach the three intermediate goals o f (1) quality dialogue between industry and regulators, (2) political independence o f the regulatory body from industry, and (3) public participation. Additionally, I w i l l discuss the importance of reconciling internal and external pressures that determine the ecological, social, and political situation in Taiwan, and affect the island's ability to design and implement water pollution policy, and environmental policy in general. 6.1 M o v i n g Towards Responsible Innovation The analysis o f the capacity o f Taiwan's institutional arrangements to facilitate innovative environmental policy design is supported by further development o f Wallace's innovation matrix. Wallace concludes that the introduction o f a national environmental policy plan is integral to increasing regulatory independence. A long-term environmental policy plan affords a degree o f predictability and stability o f environmental policy that reduces risk o f industry investment in pollution reduction. Taiwan could definitely benefit from decreasing 97 the "wait and see" attitude o f industry in response to environmental regulation. Specific environmental goals and promised regulation might have a significant effect i f the regulatory body is seen as significantly powerful. Wallace's conclusions with respect to increasing the quality of industry-regulator dialogue, however, are inappropriate for application in Taiwan, and perhaps in other developing countries, because they depend on the utility o f voluntary agreements. Figure 6.1 is taken from Wallace and illustrates how Voluntary Agreements and a National Environmental Plan contribute to the designation of a country as a responsible innovator, or having the ideal structure for development o f innovative environmental policy. Furthermore, in this model he neglects to address the importance o f information access and public participation. The research in this thesis supports the conclusion that both access to information and public participation are important to increasing the quality o f industry-regulator dialogue as well as maintaining regulator independence. High Quality of Dialogue Low Voluntary Complacent Innovator Complacent Non-innovator Agreements Responsible Innovator Responsible Non-innovator Political Independence National Environmental Plan High Figure 6.1 National Environmental Plans and Voluntary Agreements. Wallace argues that a national environmental policy plan forces political independence of the regulatory body while voluntary agreements maintain a high quality dialogue between industry and the regulatory body. (Taken from Wallace, 1995) 98 6.2 A National Water Protection Plan and Environmental Plan With respect to promoting innovative environmental policy in Taiwan, specifically water pollution policy, the development o f a well-conceived long-term national plan for water resource management and pollution control that is based on scientific and social research, and is able to incorporate new data as they become available, is vital. Taiwan has a long history o f successful multi-year economic plans (Economist 1992) and a shorter history o f environmental plans. Taiwan passed its first "Guidelines for Environmental Policy at the Current Stage" in 1987 (Arrigo et al 1996), and elicited U . S . E P A input in a programmatic evaluation (Berman 1995b) and the development o f a National Water Quality Master Plan in 1995 (Berman 1995a). In 1997, the R O C E P A launched the National Environmental Protection Plan, with short-, mid-, and long-term goals for sustainable development, environmental protection, implementation mechanisms, research and development, public participation, and global environmental protection efforts. The N E P P was to include a system o f numerical indicators and regular evaluation (ITRI 1997). The N E P P is completely an E P A initiative and other government ministries such as the M O E A were not involved in the drafting process, nor was there legislative approval for the program. Therefore, aside from the projects that the E P A itself administers, national planning initiatives are not integrated into the N E P P . 9 2 The realization o f the N E P P holds a lot o f promise. A comprehensive, well-informed, 9 3 and highly publicized environmental plan that could garner a large degree o f political support would strengthen the E P A / E P B constituent and aid increases in project funding and personnel. Such a plan would create a structure for evaluating the water use and discharge portions o f environmental impact assessments for new developments, as well as aid in the determination o f reasonable but significant targets for reduction o f pollution by currently Pers. Comm., 08/31/00 director o f Bureau o f Comprehensive Planning, R O C E P A . 9 3 B y well-informed, I mean that the plan takes into consideration the socioeconomic, technological, and ecological limitations, and is designed with input from interest groups, including industry, government, and the public. 99 operating industries. A n improved water resources management plan would necessitate the elimination of much o f the current administrative overlap among government agencies, without jeopardizing the presence o f a reasonable system checks and balances to ensure the input o f affected parties. Coordination o f regional and national efforts and increased accountability o f each agency should be as clear cut as possible. Ideally, the N E P P would clearly delineate which agencies have responsibility for various components of water resource management and include a strong mechanism to promote the integration o f goals between these agencies. The drafting o f a comprehensive environmental plan is not enough by itself. Nor is the financial funding of such a plan sufficient to move Taiwan towards sustainable development. Participation o f multiple stake holders is imperative (Yeh 1997). Communicating the goals of the plan to polluters and resource users is important. So is conducting assessments with sufficient frequency so as to have early warnings when goals are not likely to be met. M u c h o f the infrastructure to the implementation o f a comprehensive plan is in place. However, E P A and E P B follow through on initiatives is sometimes weak, and the level o f detail o f plans has not yet been sufficient so as to elicit industry faith in the strength or predictability o f regulatory action. Efforts such as completion o f the classifications o f water bodies by the central E P A , and updating of comprehensive water management plans at the county and city levels are two steps that would increase the equity and predictability o f water pollution regulation. Defining ecologically and socially defensible benchmarks for pollution reduction and water quality, and incorporating frequent evaluations o f progress would help ensure the utility o f these plans. A clearly written long-term plan could increase the stability o f water pollution policy. This would facilitate trust and dialogue between industry and regulators, encouraging action and innovation in combating pollution problems. Additionally, a long-term plan could increase communication and cooperation between and industry and citizens. I f citizens know that industries are making progress, this could reduce tensions between the two groups, opening pathways for information exchange. Finally, as Wallace argues, a long term environmental plan can play a role in maintaining regulator independence by serving as 100 a yardstick by which the success o f the regulatory body is measured, thereby reducing the chance o f industry capture o f regulatory interests and subsequent manipulation of environmental goals. 6.2 The Problem with Voluntary Agreements A s stated above, the use o f voluntary agreements to increase the quality o f industry- regulator dialogue in Taiwan is not promising. Although a full discussion of the application o f voluntary agreements is not within the scope o f this thesis, there are several arguments that can be drawn from this research that illuminate the challenges that voluntary agreements would face in bringing about positive change in water pollution levels in Taiwan. Voluntary agreements on environmental performance o f industry are more often than not agreements between government and industry alone, with limited opportunities for participation o f other interested groups (Harrison 1999). The historical links between industry and government in Taiwan are so tight, and so riddled with examples o f corruption, that the use of voluntary agreements for the promotion o f environmental policy is likely to entail a degree o f regulatory capture that Taiwan is currently trying to escape. A t the very least, dependence on voluntary agreements would reduce the credibility o f the E P A as a government organization, which would be decidedly counterproductive to the organization's quest to be seen as "more than a rubber stamp for the M O E A " . Furthermore, voluntary agreements depend on the voluntary participation o f industries, and seldom include external audits or forced reporting (Harrison 1999). This would jeopardize the impact o f water pollution policy in Taiwan in three ways. First, it is likely that many companies w i l l not chose to participate. The low impact of the E P A on environmental problems to date is evidence of the lack o f muscle o f that organization, and is not likely to encourage companies to participate in fear o f regulation. 9 4 According to one government economic advisor, most o f the industries that have actually improved environmental Interview notes, T0227W 101 performance are those that were forbidden to leave the Taiwan for other countries (mainly China 9 5 ) (Huang, Tien-lin 2001) and therefore had no choice but to respond to stricter environmental regulations by upgrading pollution controls. A significant geographical distance seldom separates factories and residential areas, and releasing information about pollution could result in public protest and political difficulty for the factory. Some factories have been afraid to publish data on their pollution even after they have achieved significant reductions through intentional improvements. 9 6 Second, the small number o f S M E s in Taiwan further complicates the problem o f enrollment o f companies in voluntary agreements due to the difficulty o f identifying these firms. Third, i f companies should report at all, there would be little incentive for them to report accurately. The historical tendency o f government officials to favor political and personal friends through lax enforcement o f environmental regulations could obfuscate reporting accuracy. Additionally, studies on voluntary initiatives in North America point to their shortcomings. The National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI) in Canada has been shown to be much less effective in promoting environmental improvements than old fashioned command and control mechanisms (Harrison and Antweiler 2001). In the case o f high tech industry in particular, the United State equivalent to the N P R I , the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI), instead o f encouraging pollution reduction, has been blamed for increasing the migration o f heavy polluters to poorer areas o f the country or to other countries altogether (Mazurek 1999). Taiwanese high-tech firms in particular were forbidden to openly move production to Mainland China, as their technologies were considered sensitive by the Taiwanese government. 9 6 Interview notes, T0227W. 102 6 .4 The Role of Information-based Programs The unlikely success o f a voluntary agreement approach in Taiwan does not preclude the development o f increased industry regulator ties. Increasing access o f industry to long-term E P A plans, increased access o f the E P A to industrial pollution problems, and increased sharing o f technological and ecological data might be a better way for Taiwan to improve the ability o f various players in the water pollution policy game to work towards mutual goals. Information sharing needs to increase on both the domestic and the international level. Within Taiwan, information sharing can prevent repeat catastrophes or simple failure to achieve optimal performance o f water treatment, or waste treatment approaches. For example, the Tainan Science-based Industrial Park should pay special attention to the problems that the HSIP has had with water use, water treatment and pollution o f the surrounding community. Cooperation with other countries in finding solutions to pollution problems can also be beneficial. Pollution problems resulting from transferred industrial technology may be particularly able to benefit from the mining o f other countries' lists o f potential remedial or preventive technologies. For example, an exchange between the Sil icon Val ley Toxics Coalition of California and the Hsinchu Science-based Industrial Park in Taiwan (also known as the Silicon Valley of the East) resulted in increased interest by high-tech company staff in reducing water use, improving water treatment, keeping databases on worker health. It also resulted in community members starting their own log o f times and places o f air emissions from fabs that could be detected by the human nose. These may sound like small gains, but when seen as the result of one weeklong exchange, they are not insignificant. In order for Taiwan to move into the role o f responsible innovator with respect to environmental policy, it is necessary to move in a positive direction along both the x- and y-axes. This could be done in a step-wise fashion, moving first to the position o f responsible non-innovator (into the position o f the United States) and then increasing innovation mechanisms. Or, Taiwan could accomplish the move by first cultivating a close industry-103 regulator relationship and then attempting to increase regulator independence. Both these strategies have their risks. 6.5 Keeping the Balance with Publ ic Part icipation Taiwan must overcome many barriers to achieve the ultimate goal o f Responsible Innovator, and resistance can be expected in response to any change in the status quo. Movement to the intermediate positions o f either complacent innovator or responsible non-innovator w i l l be an exercise in overcoming inertia. Furthermore, a new set o f rules w i l l be necessary to maintain stability of the new system. If the forces pulling for return to the original state o f Complacent Non-innovator are successfully overcome, there w i l l be a new threshold o f inertia that must be overcome before Taiwan can achieve the goal o f Responsible Innovator. The second threshold w i l l be arguably more difficult to surmount than the first, given that progress along one axis tends to antagonize progress on the other axis. Therefore, it is in Taiwan's best interest to coordinate simultaneous movement towards regulatory independence from industry with the movement towards higher quality dialogue between regulatory bodies and industry. Assuming that information access w i l l increase dialogue between government and industry, and a long-term environmental plan w i l l increase the political independence o f the regulatory body, the factor that w i l l keep both o f these processes in check, preventing Taiwan from falling into the role o f Responsible non-innovator, or Complacent Innovator, is Public Participation. This hypothesis can be schematically represented by simple vector addition (Figure 6.2). Taiwan is currently in position (1) and the goal is position (2). In order to move towards (2) without straying into the Complacent Innovator quadrant or the Responsible Non-innovator quadrant, the total positive movement along the X axis (Independence o f the Regulatory Body) must approximately equal the total positive movement along the Y-axis (Quality o f Dialogue between Regulator and Industry). Mathematically, A _ B , or l i m ^ o o |A - B I =0 104 Figure 6.2. National Environmental Plans and Public Participation. Movement from complacent non-innovator to responsible innovator as represented by vector addition. |A I is the total positive movement along the X-axis and |B I is the total positive movement along the Y axis, and A+B=C. Conceptually and actually, Taiwan's environmental policy approach must walk the line. Public participation in the process is needed to keep the balance between political independence o f the regulator and dialogue between industry and regulator. Information access has been discussed above in relation to both industry-regulator dialogue and regulator independence. Public participation is dependent on information campaigns as wel l as legal support and official venues for integration o f the public into the policy decision process. What is meant by the public or a public varies with the context. I use the term public instead o f stakeholder so as to differentiate between stakeholders in the position o f company or government and stakeholders who are decidedly not in the role o f polluters (industry) or regulators (government). A given individual could belong to any one o f these categories at a given time with respect to a given context, therefore the membership o f these categories is not static. The public is any group o f people affected by an environmental issue. They are 105 also any group o f people who, as a group, have the potential to act in response to an environmental issue. Therefore, the public participation could be the citizens that live around the HSIP, or the workers who make microchips in T S M C , or the waste handlers that are paid to transport spent solvents. Involving these people in the environmental policy process has several benefits. One is compensation for lack o f E P A / E P B staff and funds. Citizen groups can carry out ecosystem monitoring, water and air quality monitoring, illegal dumping watch groups, and other services with minimum training. Employees who are educated about the toxicity o f the chemicals used in their factories w i l l be more likely to take appropriate precautions to limit their own exposure, and take extra precautions with any external discharge o f the chemicals, thus reducing personal and environmental harm. Additionally, employees are at the front lines o f chemical use and therefore in the best position to recommend ways to reduce total use o f toxic chemicals without jeopardizing product quality. It is important to remember that these people have a high personal stake in reducing environmental pollution, and therefore are often wil l ing to work for environmental safety for the sake o f their own welfare. In other words, they are free hands who are nevertheless dedicated to the work. There is o f course an increased risk o f experimental error and loss o f objectivity that involving the public in monitoring efforts entails. However, appropriately chosen and carefully designed projects, augmented by training and oversight by qualified personnel could maintain an acceptable level o f scientific accuracy. In order to enlist the support and participation of the public, Taiwan must concentrate on three things: (1) Education o f the general public and industries on the need to take part in environmental monitoring and innovative design o f environmentally friendly methods o f production and waste management; (2) structures to accommodate environmental complaints, suggestions and volunteerism, and to protect people who report environmental trespasses; and (3) a reward system for industries that incorporate participatory decision-making that results in environmental improvements. Environmental education campaigns are already underway in Taiwan. Even elementary school children are educated on environmental protection and waste reduction. However, more efforts to encourage the literacy and activity 106 of the average citizen are necessary. The structure to accommodate environmental complaints is continuing to evolve as the E P A makes efforts to expand its Environmental Protection Police Force, which has effectively prosecuted 884 individuals in 300 cases since July, 1999(EPA 2001b). The anonymous environmental nuisance reporting hotline is increasingly utilized (see Appendix IV for reporting statistics), with the majority o f complaints due to industrial pollution(EPA 2000c). It is not insignificant that the hotline is anonymous, especially given the reports o f physical abuse endured by some citizens who were discovered to have reported environmental crimes. Legal measures supporting environmental justice that would aid Taiwan in protecting and involving the public include worker and community right to know laws and the Administrative Procedures Act to define the responsibilities o f the government with respect to passing and amending acts and regulations. The Public Nuisance Dispute Settlement Law (1992) also provides a legal structure within which to bring complaints against polluters. 9 7 Applied environmental research could include work on adaptive ecosystem management and an alternative set indicators for progress assessment that does not rely solely on economic gain but includes environmental capacity to support healthy human populations. A n increase in efforts to advertise and involve more parties in formal opportunities for input would also be advisable, such as public hearings to address water distribution schemes or pollution prevention and cleanup. 6.6 Additional Factors Influencing Policy Innovation From the interviews conducted and data collected throughout this research, I have deduced that, in addition to the presence o f a long-term environmental plan, major components o f regulator independence are (1) high credibility, (2) legal support for the regulatory mandate, More on the P N D S law can be found at http://www.gio.gov.tw/mfo/yb97/htmJ7chl304.htm as o f 1/21/00. 107 (3) independent access to credible data on ecological status, pollution levels, and technological capacity, and (4) high political stability. Some concrete projects that are currently in operation w i l l aid the Taiwanese E P A in promoting these four criteria. These include increased publicity o f E P A projects, the passage o f the Administrative Procedures L a w by the Legislative Yuan in 2001, the standardization of E P B data collection, and the stabilization o f the democratic government structure in Taiwan. The Taiwanese government has embarked on an effort to increase the credibility o f the E P A by increasing transparency o f E P A activity and decisions, including publishing on-line English editions o f environmental laws and a regular E P A English newsletter. However, not until there is an increase in public access to E P A proceedings and the E P A stops surprising the public with inconsistent, ill-defended, or unpredicted rulings in areas such as E I A s and waste disposal sitings, and incinerator construction w i l l the public trust that the E P A is really working with their best interests in mind. Additionally, access and utilization by the E P A to frequently updated technical information that relates to industry would allow regulators to better understand what they are regulating, thereby increasing both efficacy o f regulation and the credibility o f the E P A . Regulator independence also relies on legal support for regulatory actions. A s the pollution control acts currently stand, the legal jurisdiction o f the E P A is limited by the wording that requires industry representative input into laws governing emissions and effluent standards. The E P A should be legislated adequate funding to carry out the large number o f necessary projects, and to fund the local E P B s in their individual projects. In order for the E P A to have full access to adequate data necessary in environmental decision-making processes, further funding o f E P A data collection initiatives and completion o f a central database on environmental indicators would be helpful. More funding is necessary for basic ecological research related to pollution policies. This would allow the creation o f baseline data upon which the effects o f environmental regulations can be evaluated. Expanding research on water quality to include ecosystem support capacity in addition to the simple battery o f chemical tests currently relied upon would strengthen 108 Taiwan's understanding o f water quality issues. O n a positive note, the central E P A budget increased 11% in 2001 to over NT$9.6 billion. The largest percentage o f the fund, 39.5%, w i l l be spent on incinerator construction (NT$3.8 billion) and industrial waste management is a close second at 35.1% (NT$3.4 billion). Another 6.3% (NT$6 billion) was designated for the cleanup o f river pollution ( E P A 2000a). Although the increase in incinerator numbers has uncertain consequences for water quality, better industrial waste management and more river cleanup operations w i l l likely have a positive effect. Overall the increase in funding is a positive sign that the Taiwanese government is taking pollution problems more seriously. Social science research is no less important. Although there are currently gaps in the research base in Taiwan, the mere funding o f an onslaught o f ecology and sociology research under the umbrella o f environmental science would likely fail to solve the problem. A s Caldwell so dryly stated, "...managing knowledge w i l l not save the environment unless the institutions and process o f governance are also managed to this end." 9 8 There is also a need for basic research on policy patterns and social behavior within Taiwan. The goal o f this research should be to learn how policies affect human behavior in this particular culture at this time in history, and to use that knowledge to design policy that is complementary to the social structure within which it w i l l be applied. Finally, political stability w i l l increase the funds and attention that politicians and the public at large are wil l ing to invest in environmental protection, as well as the degree to which industry dares to take economic risks at home instead o f relocating abroad. Increasing the quality o f life for residents in Taiwan, and Taiwan's image as a first-world country wi l l make it more likely that Taiwanese wi l l see Taiwan as a place to call home forever. Although this attitude is increasing in Taiwan, many wealthy Taiwanese still hold green cards from foreign countries, mainly in the United States, Canada, N e w Zealand and Australia. Caldwell 1994, p 292 109 6.7 Reconciling Domestic and International Pressures The discussion thus far has centered on whether or not Taiwan has the internal capacity to promote innovative change to environmental policies. However, the island does not exist in a vacuum. The web-site o f the Industrial Development Bureau contains brief summaries o f industrial climate and development in Taiwan decade by decade, from the thirties to the nineties. The description o f the 1980s notes that the government supported the development o f high-tech manufacture and increase in product quality, aiding Taiwan's international competitiveness. The summary for the 1990s states that although product quality is still improving, insufficient numbers entering the labor force, increased environmental requirements and competition from China are reducing Taiwan's ability to remain internationally competitive (IDB 2000). This short statement offers insight into the way in which the environment - development issue is viewed by the M O E A , i f not by the majority o f Taiwanese people." International investors in industry also watch environmental policies in target countries, and increasingly tight environmental standards tend to make them more cautious (Wesbrook 1995). Education efforts and increased public involvement in Taiwan might help to alter this attitude, augmenting political w i l l to create a more sustainable society. The readiness with which Taiwanese companies move their production to China is evidence o f a lack o f w i l l on the part o f industry to invest in long-term sustainable manufacturing processes. This lack o f w i l l is based on assumptions that cleaner production processes w i l l cost more, and the fear that increased production costs w i l l cause Taiwanese products to lose their competitive edge in the world market. This fear is not unfounded; contracts with purchasers o f computer chips and components are normally not disclosed and are easily lost due to production price fluctuations, changes in demand or discrepancy in quality (Mazurek 1990). In light o f the increasing cost o f production in Taiwan, moving production facilities to China is becoming economically desirable from the point o f industry and more politically 110 defendable from the point o f government. Taiwanese firms are increasingly challenging the logic o f the "no haste, be patient" (j^cMr^M j ie j i yong ren) 1 0 0 motto o f the K M T , and the D P P has recently introduced an alternative policy o f "active engagement," in spite o f the fact that the party was elected on a platform o f Taiwanese independence. During the recent economic downturn, Taiwan-China economic cooperation has been advocated as a means o f reducing Taiwan's economic vulnerability (L iu 1998). Due to Taiwan's reliance on an export economy, external factors and the global economic market significantly affect the decisions made within Taiwan. Although talk o f both Taiwan independence and stringent environmental standards has accelerated during the past two years, the recent decline of the stock market in the spring o f 2001 resulted in large changes o f attitude on both these fronts by government decision makers. The attitude towards economic involvement with China changed from "no haste, be patient," to "active engagement," and the new director o f the E P A , Hao Lung B i n is promoting the acceptance by communities o f construction o f new incinerators and relaxing water pollution standards for industry. External pressures to protect natural resources and wildlife, and to prevent human injustice are increasingly putting pressure on Taiwanese companies and foreign companies operating in Taiwan to consider more than the bottom line on the accounting report when making resource use and waste management decisions. These pressures are less significant than they might be because Taiwan is not a signatory to any o f the international environmental and humanitarian agreements, such as the Basel Convention on trade in toxic waste, or the C I T E S on trade in endangered species, for example. In addition, the threat o f Mainland China looms over Taiwan's government, and the economic prowess o f the island is one o f its only crutches. 1 0 1 Environmental issues are not immune to the pressures o f the U . S . - Taiwan -The environment-development dichotomy is not uncommon in industry-government discourse, and is prevalent in industrialized and developing countries alike. 1 0 0 This was the one o f two attitudes o f economic policy promoted by the K M T . In contrast, one D P P faction advocated pursuit o f economic ties with CWna, or da dan x i j i n (boldly go westward). 1 0 1 In the wake o f the destruction o f the World Trade Center and the attack on the Pentagon, and subsequent focus on terrorist strongholds in the Middle East, Taiwan's Vice President, 111 China political triangle that influences every economic and policy decision made by Taiwanese leaders (Weidenbaum 2000). Finally, one could argue that the "stopover mentality" abandoned by the K M T as a party has been taken up by many powerful individuals in industry and government who hold green cards abroad, and whose children are growing up not on Taiwanese soil, but as citizens o f other nations. For many o f these people Taiwan is, although sometimes regrettably, a home they plan on leaving. There are multiple reasons for this out-migration, including the relatively high cost o f land, environment and health concerns, and the political and military threat from mainland China. In light o f this, increased access to information by those not in decision-making roles in government and industry, and by those who do not hold green cards, is even more important. These are the people who have the greatest interest in demanding innovative and effective environmental regulations for Taiwan. In the short term it is likely that stronger environmental regulation in Taiwan w i l l be applied sparingly, as the ambitious goals o f the new director o f the E P A are quickly being tempered by the recent economic downturn in the global high-tech economy. The decreasing demand for computer and electronic components is pressuring Taiwanese firms to undersell competitors in efforts to maintain a hold on the market, which has manifest itself not in more innovative solutions to pollution reduction, but in relaxation o f pollution standards. Ultimately, Taiwan must weigh the costs and benefits o f economic growth and environmental sustainability, and make conscious efforts to acknowledge the connections between the biogeophysical well being and the long-term economic and social well being of the island. Annette L u urged that the world and Taiwan in particular not forget the threat o f mainland China. (Hsu 2001). 112 6.8 Conclusions In summary, through the interviews and literary research conducted, I found that water pollution policy, and environmental policy in general, is less innovative and less complete than might be expected given the technology and funds Taiwan has at its disposal. Many factors contribute to this. A lack o f applied ecology and policy research and compatibility and accessibility issues with data that do exist limits the tools that the E P A and E P B s have at their disposal in designing and implementing policy, as well as the tools that industry has for reducing pollution. A lack o f clarity in jurisdictional authority increases the chances that other branches o f government with alternative mandates wi l l challenge E P A initiatives. A combination o f economic interests, cultural norms and the legacy o f martial law have restricted the role that government officials and the public are wil l ing or able to play in bringing pollution issues to the forefront o f development decisions. The small size, large population, and ambiguous political status also exert special pressures on Taiwan's pollution policy agenda, many of which are not shared by the countries from which Taiwan has borrowed much o f its environmental regulatory structure, the U.S . and Japan. A n ecologist philosopher at the Academia Sinica described his view o f the choices which he thinks the Taiwanese people have when faced with the destruction o f the environment: 1- T ^ t B ^ ' I l f (zoii chu bei qing): Entering a tragedy, there is no way out, nothing you can do. 2 . (kua yue j ie gou): I f I can't have it, neither can you. 3. f S ^ ^ H (xi shou jian guo): Hold hands and create a new era A l l o f the above attitudes no doubt exist in Taiwanese society today, but the institutional infrastructure needed to bring about a new environmental era is not unattainable, i f environmental policies continue to mature and environmental awareness continues to increase. Whether policy makers w i l l be forced into significant action by ecological crisis, or wi l l effectively preempt crisis with progressive and innovative pollution control schemes remains to be seen. However, it is clear that i f Taiwan is to improve upon the efficacy o f water pollution policy, especially with respect to high tech pollution, it must recruit the full 113 participation o f both industry and the public. The impacts, o f high tech pollution especially, are too poorly understood, and the consequences too potentially great to rely solely on the E P A without cooperation o f other sectors o f society. Technological tools and expertise are available to facilitate information exchange, and data collection possible with investments o f time and money. Political w i l l may prove to be the crucial factor in uniting these sectors o f society in a concerted effort to combat the pollution that threatens Taiwan's sustainability. Although Taiwan could be seen as a "special case", in many aspects, it is not unlike other developing countries, especially those who are cultivating high tech industry as a means o f increasing national income and retaining local talent. Like Taiwan, these countries are undergoing rapid technological development through technology transfer, and cultivating export-oriented economies (Barnes, 1998). Their domestic well being, and in some cases social stability, 1 0 2 is closely connected to the global economy, the stock markets o f developed countries, and the whims o f the foreign consumer market. The study o f Taiwan's institutional strengths and weaknesses offers insight not only into Taiwan's future o f environmental regulation, but also into the future o f these other countries, the most significant o f which is probably mainland China, although the Taiwanese investment and influence in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, and Vietnam is not insignificant. Pollution issues associated with high tech industry in particular are rjecoming increasingly important due to the rapid investment in this sector, the unknown impacts o f the large number o f chemicals and chemical combinations used, and the relatively undeveloped state o f technologies to reclaim them. Information access and three-way public-regulator-industry exchange and participation in water pollution policy issues is key to reducing the negative impacts o f economic growth on a resource that is basic to sustaining life. Finally, the global context within which Taiwan exists plays a large role in determining the economic capacity and political w i l l available for the execution o f comprehensive and innovative approaches to environmental policy. That is not to say that Taiwan is completely 1 0 2 The 1999 stock market crash precipitated a rash o f suicides among businessmen in South Korea and other newly industrialized countries. 114 at the whim o f the global economy. 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Taipei: National Taiwan University Publishers 123 Appendix I Ta iwan E P A Structure Environmental Protection Administration Bureau of Comprehensive Planning Bureau of Air Quality Protection and Noise Planning Bureau of Water Quality Protection Bureau of Solid Waste Management Bureau of Environmental Sanitation and Toxic Chemical Control Bureau of Performance Evaluation and Dispute Settlement Bureau of Environmental Monitoring and Data Processing Legal Affairs Committee Petition and Affairs Committee Secretary's Office Personnel Office Accounting Office Statistics Office Office of Government Ethics Public Nuisance Dispute Advisory Committee Office of Science and Technology Advisors National Institute of Environmental Analysis National Institute of Environmental Training Environmental Protection Bureau of Taipei Environmental Protection Bureau of Kaohsiung Environmental Protection Bureaus of City and County Governments Source: Taiwan E P A homepage at www.epa.gov/tw 124 Appendix II Industrial Parks in Taiwan Nankang Software Park (8 ha) Hsinchu Science-Based Industrial Park Changhua Coastal Industrial Park (3643 ha) Yunlin Offshore Basic Industrial Park (11,578 ha) Tainan Science-based Industrial Park Nantzu Economic Processing Zone Kaohsiung Economic Processing Zone Litse Industrial Park (320 ha) Hoping Industrial Park (452 ha) 6 Special Economic Processing Zones A Technology Industrial Parks 2 in total; 1,299 ha 9 Industrial Parks Already Developed: 88 in total; 11,895 ha Industrial Parks Under Construction: 23 in total; 18,414 ha Source: Industrial Development Bureau, Taiwan 125 Appendix III M a p of Northern Taiwan Appendix IV Reporting of Environmental Nuisance Complaints Year Waste Disposal Noise Air Pollution Noxious Odors Total Complaints 1991 31,322 15,726 12,996 3,814 67,438 1992 29,805 20,328 16,916 5,603 77,547 1993 32.319 19,165 18,676 8,186 84,273 1994 34,855 20,265 12,957 10,049 86,517 1995 52,462 21,149 12,277 11,950 117,788 1996 51,557 19,432 10,962 12,655 114,431 1997 43,015 20,546 12,454 13,072 95,711 Source: Taiwan Government Information Office at http://gio.gov.tw/info/yb97/html/chl304t.htm 127 

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