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Rationale to Establish a Technical Working Group on Remediation for Soil and Groundwater Pollution of Asian and Pacific Region (ReSAGPAPR WG)



2010 is the 10th anniversary of the Soil and Groundwater Pollution Remediation Act enforced in Taiwan. To celebrate the 10 years achievement and to continuously improve our technologies of investigation, remediation and management on soil and groundwater contaminated sites in Taiwan, Environmental Protection Administration of Taiwan (Taiwan EPA) organized an international Conference on the investigation, remediation and management of soil and groundwater contaminated sites in Taipei on October 27, 2010, and provided a platform for administrators, researchers, and environmental engineers from Asia and other countries for exchanging and promoting advanced concepts, technologies and products in this field.

More than 50 distinguished experts were invited from more than 20 countries to share their knowledge and experience in this conference. All honorable speakers focus on legislation, remediation technology and cases studies on the soil and groundwater contamination sites. They also delivered in-depth analyses, shared their experiences to enhance future scientific developments, and secured the sustainable utilization of soil and groundwater resources.


2.Situations changed after the Remediation Act was announced

Since the promulgation of the Soil and Groundwater Remediation Act developed in Taiwan in 2000, several other changes have been occurred in the last decade in Taiwan.

  • The industries have learned that they have to pay a high price to cleanup the land they polluted if Taiwan EPA discovered they had caused the contamination and ordered them to complete the remediation within a certain period of time.
  • Many universities and environmental consultant companies in Taiwan are offering soil and groundwater study programs for Master or Ph.D. degrees. Many universities also have established research centers for developing innovative remediation technologies.
  • New investigation tools have been utilized in the laboratories and contaminated fields. Taiwan had used cable tool to install the groundwater monitoring wells, now Taiwan is able use the direct push or air hammer to install the groundwater monitoring wells in everywhere.
  • In order to reduce the cost, improve time effectiveness of investigation, and monitor pollutants in the soil and groundwater environments, Taiwan consultant companies have developed some innovative monitoring techniques in recent years, including MIP (membrane interface probe) to detect volatile contaminants, XRF (x-ray fluorescence) to detect heavy metals distribution, and field test kits to detect TPHs (total petroleum hydrocarbons) and explosive pollutants. According to the screening results, we only take the suspected portion of soil and groundwater samples for further confirmation to be conducted in the laboratory.


3.Achievements, milestones and future service for Asian countries

Taiwan has created some achievements and many milestones to share with other countries in this field for last decade, especially in Asia. The goals of Taiwan EPA future work are to revitalize the usage of the contaminated land with green remediation strategies, protect our resources by rigorously carrying out the regulations, provide training courses of advance technologies for our professionals, and share our experiences with other countries, especially for countries in East and Southeastern Asia. Therefore, a special meeting program was organized for East and South-Eastern Asian countries in the afternoon of October 27, 2010.


4.Special Meeting of East and South-Eastern Asian countries in October 27, 2010

This special meeting for East and South-Eastern Asian countries has been successful in bringing together for scientists and government officers in this region, including Japan, Korea, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Taiwan. This meeting also let the countries realize and concur on the urgent need to establish a technical working group on Remediation for Soil and Groundwater Pollution of Asian Countries (ReSAGPAC WG), and the working group was established in the closing remarks on October 27, 2010 in Taipei. The primary objectives of this working group would be to provide a technical-based network for Asian countries that is capable of exchange and cooperate of remediation techniques in Asia and to serve the remediation techniques for the changing and challenging social demands and to function as a rational platform for decision and policy makers to make informed decisions for risk-based assessment of the contamination sites in the future.


5.Closing remarks of special meeting

In the closing remarks of this special meeting program, all the participants of scientists and government officers from Asian countries agreed that Taiwan was approved as the Chairman, Japan is the Vice Chairman, and Korea is the Secretary General of this working group to serve in the first term (January 2011 to December 2012). Conference, training course or workshop as well as functions as a powerful and indispensable group for technology transfer can be organized in this region. Distinguished Professor Zueng-Sang Chen, serving at the Department of Agricultural Chemistry of National Taiwan University, has been appointed by Taiwan EPA as the chairman of the first term of this working group since January 2011.


6.Main objectives of the ReSAGPAC WG

The main objectives of the ReSAGPAC WG are proposed as:

  • To establish a risk-based approach and sustainable land management network at the Asian level;
  • To share the database of pollution sites, recycling use of natural resources including the sediments.
  • To serve the wider context of the changing and challenging social demands, and
  • To function as a rational platform for decision and policy makers to make the remediation on sites of soil and groundwater pollution.


7.Activities Organized:

The chair of ReSAGPAC WG began to discuss with Taiwan EPA officers in early 2011 and organized some programs, including:

  • Business Meeting of the ReSAGPAC WG (June 13, 2011)
  • Workshop on Health Risk Assessment (June 14, 2011)
  • Workshop on the Remediation and Risk-based Assessment of Sediments Contaminated Sites (June 15-16, 2011)
  • Two field studies on the Oil and Heavy Metals Contaminated Sites in Taiwan (June 17 and November in 2011)
  • Business Meeting of the ReSAGPAC WG (June, 2012)
  • Workshop on Phytotechnologies as Remediation for Contaminated Sites (June 26-27, 2012)
  • 2012 International Conference on the Investigation, Remediation and Management of Soil and Groundwater Contaminated Sites in Taipei (October, 2012)
  • Workshop on Permeable Reactive Barriers (PRBs) for Contaminated Sites (June 26-27, 2013)
  • International Training Courses on Survey and Remediation of Soil and Groundwater Contaminated Sites (Sep 29-Oct 12, 2013)
  • Workshop on Incremental Sampling and Field XRF for Metal Contamination in Soils in Taichung (August 19-20, 2014)
  • 2015 International Workshop: Contaminated Groundwater Characterization & Monitoring in Taichung (December 8-9, 2015)
  • International Training Courses on Survey and Remediation of Soil and Groundwater Contaminated Sites (March 21-29, 2016)
  • Workshop on Technology of Brownfields Remediation (November 9-10, 2017)
  • International Workshop on Investigation and Mitigation of Vapor Intrusion (December 5-6, 2018)
  • International Training Course on Sustainable Soil and Groundwater Protection and Remediation (March 17-24, 2019)
  • International Workshop on High-Resolution Site Characterization (November 17-18, 2020)
  • International Workshop on Developments in Contaminated Site Characterization and Remediation (December 15-16, 2021)