關心.信心.決心——決策者怎麼說

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1987 / 6月

文‧本刊編輯部



拯救淡水河,除了具體周詳的計畫,龐大的經濟來源、有關單位的執行決心,更為大家廣泛關切。因此,本刊訪問了行政院俞國華院長,以及整治計畫的主要策劃、執行者——行政院衛生署長施純仁、台北市長許水德,和台灣省主席邱創煥。

淡水河系汙染的問題,受到社會大眾廣泛的關切。行政院俞院長也非常注重此事。四月底,他在行政院院會中聽取衛生署所研擬的「淡水河系汙染整治計畫」後,曾經提出六點提示,責成有關單位注意研究辦理。

盡速推動,無近路可走

這六點提示是——

第一、水汙染防治工作,是無近路可走的,衛生署應該有整理性的工作計畫、工作方法、工作步驟以及現在進行的工作,並多向社會大眾說明。

第二、水的主要汙染來源是都市家庭汙水、工廠的工業廢水、垃圾三種。如果我們能使家庭汙水、工業廢水不流入河流之中,或是經過處理之後,才准流入;垃圾不能隨便傾倒於河岸或河中,河流的水自然會清潔。

因此為求淡水河——基隆河的水質清潔,惟有兩岸建設汙水截流系統或衛生下水道;對於工業廢水要嚴格控制放流水的標準;對於垃圾要加以處理。這些工作,固然需要龐大的經費,同時也需要相當時間。建設工程更要花時間,台北市的衛生下水道,就是一個例子。所以規劃工作,先要盡速推動。

重視教育與宣導

第三、台北市衛生下水道系統延伸至三重、蘆洲出海的工程,新店溪上游的汙水下水道系統,以及十四項建設中的都市垃圾處理計畫,都希望加速辦理。至於工業廢水問題,也應該積極設法解決。

第四、環境保護的基本建設,是需要龐大的經費的,以衛生下水道為例,據專家的估計,現在的建設經費,大約每一人口需要一萬五千元。如果台北都會區未來廿年以五百萬人口計,僅就衛生下水道一項,就需要七百五十億元,為數甚鉅。請經建會盡速對公共建設包括環境工程,邀請專家,研究一套財務制度與受益者付費的辦法,以配合淡水河——基隆河汙染防治計畫的推行。

第五、對環境保護,除了基本建設、管制取締之外,教育與宣導也非常重要。我們現在一般人的生活都過得很好,自己大門以內,都弄得相當乾淨,但是大門以外,就亂丟東西,甚至亂倒垃圾,沒有公共環境的道德觀念。這顯然是一種不道德、落後的生活習慣。今天政府正在大力推展淡水河——基隆河的汙染防治工作,也希望居住在大台北都會區的全體民眾愛護這兩條河流,少加一分汙染,就是多加一分防治的力量。

第六、政府為加強環境保護工作,已決定環境保護局直屬行政院。有關這個機關的組織法草案,請衛生署盡速擬妥報院,以便本院審查後,早日完成立法程序。

追本溯源,決心防治

五月中,俞院長在接受本刊編輯訪問時,也表示了他對此事的看法。

他說:台灣地區社會繁榮,生活富足,但由於經濟迅速成長,人口增加,和都市化的快速擴展,以致環境保護措施和有關公共建設,難以適時配合。因此同許多國家一樣,產生了生態環境的問題,例如淡水河系的淡水河、基隆河、大漢溪的嚴重汙染,已影響到台北都會地區的環境品質,引起一般民眾的深切注意。政府不但關切,並且有決心要把這個關係台灣地區近四分之一人口的河系,加以防治,期使河水水質恢復清淨。

不過河川汙染性質和其他如空氣、噪音汙染完全不同。河川的汙染是經過長年累積的結果,防治時必須有妥善而面面顧到的計畫,有秩序、全面推進,絕難一蹴而成。而同一河系內各部分互相牽連,必須對汙染追本溯源,整體規劃;不能頭痛醫頭、腳痛醫腳,以致徒勞無功。

對於如何整治淡水河系,俞院長亦表示了他初步的看法,他以為,淡水河系的主要汙染來源是都市家庭汙水、工業廢水和胡亂在河邊堆棄垃圾引起的汙染。此外,上游地區養豬業也產生相當可觀的汙染量。

多管齊下,並頭進行

都市家庭汙水管制辦法是要建立現代化汙水系統,從建築物收集汙水,經過分支幹道輸送處理廠處理後,再選擇妥善地點排除,使沒有經過適當處理的汙水,不流入河川。這是件費時費錢的工作,但是一件必須做的基本工作。

其次,都市垃圾處理計畫,已經列入十四項重大建設,事實上且已有不少落實計畫在進行中,包括焚化爐和衛生掩埋場等工作。這些工作配合現在整治淡水河系汙染的要求,還要加速進行。

至於台北地區的工業廢水,已經由環保單位進行管制,根據最近公佈的放流水標準,畜牧廢水也將列入管制。汙染者自應負擔起其應盡的社會責任。此外,台北地區汙水系統完成後,很多工業廢水也可以經由汙水系統排除。所以,防治淡水河系汙染有關的幾項重大工作,大多已經在積極進行中。我們希望各項整治工作能夠多管齊下,並頭進行,以求擴大其整治的成效。

密切配合,按步執行

為使「多管齊下」不會變成「多頭馬車」,許多學者專家非常期待一個有效率的統籌執行單位,能夠協調解決其間可能發生的問題。

俞院長對於這一點,也說明瞭他的看法,他認為這些工作,必須密切配合,按步執行,否則步調差錯,難以達到整體目的。他表示,行政院已指定,目前由衛生署負責設立協調督促組織,同時,希望在即將提昇後直屬行政院的環保機關,能更強有力地負起促進協調任務。遇到重大困難,還可以提出,請求去年八月成立的行政院環境保護小組協助。

文.王家鳳

施純仁(行政院衛生署長):

治療「慢性病人」,除了用藥,家屬的關心是很重要的……

問:俞院長曾在行政院會中說過,政府官員要腳踏實地,做不到的事就不說,說了就要做到。我們知道您在今年四月卅日的院會中,提出一份「淡水河系汙染整治計畫」,並表示要在民國八十年做到各河段旱季無缺氧發臭,在八十四年達成各河川分類水質標準。您這樣說表示有信心做到?什麼是您信心的來源?

答:我先舉個例子。我們不妨把淡水河比做一個病患。在他年輕的時候,和家人拚命賺錢,追求更好的生活。等到生活富裕、安定之後,家人才猛然發現很久沒有關心過他;而他已經付出了健康作為代價。

面對這樣的病人,醫師治療的信心,除了本身的醫術,最重要的乃是病人家屬真心全意的關切、合作。

淡水河的病已很久,也很重了。以往,大家為了追求經濟繁榮,對他的關注不是很多,倒垃圾的倒垃圾、排廢水的排廢水;而現在,從蔣總統、俞院長到社會大眾,都非常關心,並且急切地希望他早日復原,這就是我最大的信心來源。

問:淡水河的確沉痾已久,但過去大家也並非全無關心。不少地方首長就曾經開出二年到廿年不等的整治計畫,可惜多被譏為「紙上作業」。請問署長怎麼樣使「家屬」們相信這次一定醫得好?換句話說,這次的整治計畫,與以往有何實質上的不同?

答:我相信最重要的不同,是決策階層已經下定決心全盤貫徹實施這個整治計畫。

淡水河系流域面積極大,涵蓋的行政區包括台北市的十六個區和廿九個鄉鎮市,整治起來牽涉很廣,甚至與都市計畫、農業土地的使用,都有關連。由任何地方的環保單位,甚至由衛生署環保局出面掌理策劃、執行的工作都是不夠的。去年六月,全國行政會議結束之後,行政院成立環保小組,統合各部會來協調相關業務。

在去年六月的全國行政會議中,我擔任第二中心議題「環境汙染與保護」的召集人。不久前剛發生了二仁溪的綠牡蠣事件,不但造成當地養殖業者慘重損失,還變成全國矚目的社會問題。我認為河川汙染是當前環保工作的重要課題之一,一定要想辦法防止汙染源再發生,並且要完全根治。

當時,我們在台灣地區二百多條河川中找出北部的基隆河與南部的二仁溪,建議政府先做示範性的整治工作。由於這二條河流域較小,可花較少的金錢、時間,先看到效果,發揮火車頭的帶動性的功用,使民眾相信政府推動環保工作的決心。

這個計畫一經提出,民眾們關心的程度似乎遠比計畫整治的範圍更大,於是行政院環保小組開始全盤檢討淡水河汙染事件。今年初,俞院長指示衛生署提出具體的淡水河整治計畫,經過三個多月的規劃,我們在四月份向環保小組交出第一份計畫書。

問:據說這份計畫書「慘遭退回」,為什麼?他們有什麼建議?

答:主要的問題是,計畫中沒有列出各項工作的完成時間表,不能給大家清楚可靠的交代。我也認為這很重要,因為沒有確定的時間表,工作人員就沒有目標,就像準備參加考試的人,如果不知道考試日期,就會一天天拖延,道理是一樣的。

問:那麼新計畫的主要內容是什麼?當務之急為何?

答:這個計畫統籌過去淡水河系各項汙染防治措施,以及其相關工程,依據區域經濟發展趨勢、農工業成長實況,和各河段水文特性、水資源之開發運用等因素,分析並協調各項改善措施,集中目標來加速推動淡水河系的汙染整治。

現在的當務之急,自然是避免新的汙染源。這項工作包括河邊垃圾場的封閉、改善,擴建焚化爐;內湖垃圾場滲漏水的處理;工廠廢水管制;養豬廢水改善;和河川漂浮物的清理……等。

至於淡水河最大的汙染源——家庭汙水(主要是人體排泄物)。

我們一方面準備做衛生下水道,另一方面,則在淡水河兩岸作截流工作。

我相信,現在開始從事截流、興建垃圾處理場、解決內湖垃圾山滲漏問題等保持水源潔淨的工作;我相信八年至十年之後,能做到淡水河下游地區,在旱季不會發臭,溶氧量可以提高的程度。但是大家必需明白,這個時間並不包括整個衛生下水道的建立,那需要很長的時間。以日本為例,今年他們已經進行到第五個五年計畫的第二年了,也只完成百分之卅六。

問:俞院長曾經在院會中針對這個計畫,提出教育與宣導的重要,並且強調與民眾溝通。您扮演「主治醫師」的角色,是不是有什麼要提醒「病人家屬」配合的地方?

答:我剛才說過,大家急切的關心、支持是醫師最大的信心來源。但光是情緒上的關心並不夠,還需要具體行動來配合。比方說,剛開過刀的病人需要休息,避免感染,家屬就必須遵照規定的探病時間……。淡水河也是一樣,如果政府有決心傾注人力、物力、財力治河,大家卻仍然在岸邊倒垃圾、排汙水,那麼病人永遠不會有痊癒的一天。

我希望大家能體認一點,整治淡水河絕對不只是政府的事,而是每一個人的責任。我要強調「每一個人」,因為我們都生活在這堙A喝淡水河的水、忍受台北的空氣……,如果有任何人因為「近利」,繼續傾倒工廠廢水,他自己也將付出同樣的代價。

另外一點很重要的觀念是,淡水河是沉痾已久的「慢性病人」,無法用急藥、快刀解決。我們提出的八年計畫,只能說是做到「抑制病菌蔓延」,其後還必須「會診」、「復健」……,才可能慢慢恢復原有體力。

英國以百年的時間整治泰晤士河的﹐河清是長久的工作﹐我們還需要付出很多關心。

文.蕭容慧

許水德(台北市長):大家配合,淡水河想要不清也難!

問:您是淡水河整治計畫的負責人之一,但比起省政府來,台北市無論是經費或進度,都已佔得機先,目前情況如何?

答:淡水河的整治,大家都相當關心。尤其看到韓國漢江都可以成功,對淡水河的寄望更是殷切。

打從民國六十四年,台北市就開始規劃淡水河的整治,像衛生下水道的主幹管、次支幹管,和家庭的接管,都已經在做,到今年已花了七十六億。預計大致在七十九年完成。

但是我們的對面,也就是台北縣的部分,還沒有做,這點我們就沒有辦法。

問:進度不同,省市在配合上有沒有困難,會不會「打架」?

答:有人擔心台北市與台灣省無法配合,或者溝通上有問題。

其實,溝通的機會很多。我和邱主席每週見二次面,在開院會和常會時,一有機會就交換意見,二人以推動工作為優先,這點我們都有共識。

觀念溝通不成問題,在實際工作上,現在由經建會來協調省市配合的問題,像八里處理廠等有五項工程都須省市配合來做。我們各守崗位分工合作:比如說工程、土地徵收由台北市政府負責;設計、規畫則由省政府負責。

問:省市合作有什麼優點呢?

答:省市配合雖然在協調上必須花點心力,但也有好處。眾所周知,土地徵收在整治淡水河計畫中是比較困難的事。

依規定,如台灣省想徵收土地,只要台灣省政府核准即可。台北市則須報到內政部、再報到行政院、轉至省政府再核准手續比較複雜、費時較久。現在經過經建會的協調,問題已經解決。採行的方法是台北市發公文給住都局,住都局轉報省政府,省政府再轉報台北縣,我們再去推動。也就是說採行比較簡化的程序,台北市負責徵收,但採取的是省政府的程序。

問:在推動整個計畫時,什麼是你遭遇到最大的困難?

答:老實說,最大的困難仍是經費。

整個整治計畫,台北市須負擔三百八十六億。很多人認為台北市比較有錢,可是我卻覺得中央仍須補助。為什麼?因為淡水河不只是台北市地區的問題,而是關係到國家形象,像漢江整治成功,大家會想到這是韓國的魄力,而不只是漢城的功勞。

有了補助,可以加速工程的進度,現在民眾的要求很高,我們希望提早完成,縮短計畫年限。

問:縮短年限的用意何在?

答:因為民眾的要求很迫切呀!不趕快做不行。

另方面是,如果我們能在七十九年完成衛生下水道工程,家庭接管的普及率就能提高。普及率越高,大部分的家庭汙水可排至下水道而不流入河堙A河水的水質就越快獲得改善。

根據台北市目前的進度,民國七十六年度的下水道工程完成時,家庭接管的普及率將達百分之廿八。七十九年工程完成,則可高達百分之四十五,這數字算相當高,目前日本全國的普及率不過百分之卅六。

現在迪化汙水處理廠一天能處理廿八萬噸的汙水,但卻不能應付日益增加的汙水量,所以,在家庭接管尚未普及之前,提高迪化廠處理的「質」和「量」,也是目前當務之急。

問:所謂的質與量的提昇,到底是指什麼?

答:所謂量,是指在七十九年工程完工前,能多做一點家庭接管。另方面要盡量運用迪化廠的空間,多裝節省空間的設備,以提高處理的水量;質的方面,台北市的環保單位在八十年要執行一個「淡水河水汙染管制」方案,那時迪化廠必須有二級以上的處理,放流水才能符合標準。

目前迪化廠只達初級標準,這一級處理出來的水還不夠乾淨。我們的目標是符合二級處理標準。

問:為什麼迪化廠只有初級標準?

答:當年在設計時,當時的需求和現在不同,而要求的水準也沒現在高。另方面,高出一倍的經費也是沒有採行的原因。現在我們已在規劃迪化廠的二級處理方案,之後打算使它能提昇至第三級的處理標準。

問:看樣子,政府確實很有決心想做好它。

答:以目前的科技和大家對它的關心、重視的程度,政府都必須做好這件事。

而且老實說,政府也有這個能力和必要來做好它。

河流的整治只是第一步。

將來河邊的環境也很重要,不是只有河整治好了就好,而旁邊一團糟。河邊也需要一套都市計畫來規劃休閒場所或住宅區,整個環境才算是改善。

我希望淡水河流域的功能可以提昇到休閒和遊憩。

問:整治好了之後,如何維護呢?

答:這也需要多方的配合。

在七十二年台北市已成立河川巡邏隊,但取締項目只有違建、亂堆及亂倒垃圾等,並不包括水汙染。日後,台北市要成立專責的機構來管理,到時候也會把水汙染這個項目歸入取締範圍。而河邊的養豬戶、地下工廠也要取締。

這些,都需要民眾的配合。而家庭接管,無論是工程的不便或受益費的徵收,都需要民眾的諒解和支持。我相信,如果大家對政府、對自己都有同樣嚴格的要求,淡水河想要不清澈都難。

文.蕭容慧

邱創煥(台灣省主席):

我們必須迎頭趕上。

問:在「淡水河系汙染整治計畫」中,您扮演什麼樣的角色?工作重點又是什麼?

答:省政府其實早就注意淡水河的汙染問題了,但因為經費等關係,總顯得「心有餘而力不足」。最近行政院俞院長有更明確的指示,如此一來,我們先前的阻力就變少了。

衛生署負責整體的規劃和總協調,而我們最主要的任務便是配合執行。目前工作重點放在「台灣省台北近郊衛生下水道系統」的規劃與執行。

問:這整個計畫包括台北市和台灣省,不知您在角色的扮演或任務的執行上,會不會有配合的困難?

答:省市之間的配合其實不是問題,因為大家的目標是一致的,但有時步調可能無法一致。什麼原因呢?因為台北市的經費比台灣省寬裕,所以他們可能做得比較快。

像汙水處理,台北市已經在做,台灣省則是「開始」在做。這點我們必須迎頭趕上才行。

問:幾乎所有的計畫中,經費的來源都是主要的問題,這套計畫要花多少錢?光憑省府的預算支出,夠用嗎?

答:光憑省政府的能力,的確是無法負擔,因此這次中央給我們相當的補助。經費方面,總工程費約需二百八十億元,但這是民國七十二年的物價指數,現在算還要貴一點。

其中,聯合計畫部分約需一百四十六億,台灣省部分約一百卅四億元。

在聯合計畫部分,台灣省負擔七十九億。算一算,台灣省應負擔總建設費的二百一十三億。在聯合使用部分,中央補助我們百分之五十;台灣省專用部分,中央補助百分之卅。目前,都已通過。但是,錢再花總嫌不夠,因為全部工程完成後,我們每年還要花十億元的營運操作維護費。

問:有了中央的大力支持,經費的問題解決了,但這套計畫在執行時,想必有其他的困難。什麼是您最大的困擾?

答:老實說,工程進行時,沿途的地主和居民是否能充分支持、配合,成為工程順利與否的最大關鍵。

至於工程技術本身,反而不是最大的問題。

問:那麼,您如何得到他們的支持和配合?

答:這有賴於協調和溝通。例如,我們的下水道要經過某些地方,必須先和當地的民眾溝通,取得他們的諒解後,才能進行工程。光是「說服」,就花了很多口舌。

根據過去經驗,困擾總是難以避免,但要想辦法找出癥結所在。比如說,嘉義要開一個工業區,大部分的人贊成,少數人反對。反對的人到我這堙A當面表示他們反對的理由。我一個個問,結果每個人反對的理由都不一樣。後來我請縣政府把反對者和他的理由造冊,然後針對他們一個個溝通、個別處理。這些問題解決後,剩下的阻力就不多了。

我們在要求民眾配合時,也要給他們一條路,這樣才有理由要求。

舉例而言,汙水廠打算設在八里,當地的居民都不贊成。後來我們提出一個計畫:要做市地重劃。把他們現在的住宅區、農業區、山坡地全部合起來重劃之後,他們可分得一半的土地回去,分回去的都是住宅區或商業區。原來沒有利用價值的土地都變成有利用價值了。

我們利用土地重劃的方式,把汙水處理廠集中在一個地區,與住家之間用「綠帶」分開,綠帶一方面是道路,一方面種很多樹木。

這樣隔開後,汙水處理廠離住處有段距離,也就安全了。另方面,土地重劃後,大家的土地利用價值提高了,所以,當地民眾就贊成了。

問:土地的徵收的確不容易,除此之外,您還有沒碰到其他的困難?

答:工程品質是不是能保持,這點頗叫人擔心。

為什麼呢?因為有人圍標、競標。

目前大家要求要公開招標。有的人為了標到工程,不惜把價錢壓得很低,低到根本無利潤可言;一旦得標,到時候再來偷工減料,免得虧本,這種作法定會影響工程品質,結果所有民眾成了受害人。

為此,有人建議採「合理標」,舉例而言,一個工程預計一百萬,有人標九十九萬,有人標八十萬,最後九十九萬可得標,因為他的價錢比較接近估價,這叫「合理標」。但這時出價八十萬的人會罵這是「官商勾結」,為什麼便宜的反而沒得標呢?所以,也不可行。

「合理標」看來很合理,但目前還不能實施。

現在的工程是採行一部分公開招標、一部分議價。大致說來,議價的價錢較高,但品質較有保障,像榮工處所做的北迴鐵路、台中港、蘇澳,都採議價。

因此較困難的工程,原則上,我們希望交給有信用的公司來做。如南化水庫,經費一百億,省政府就決定讓榮工處來議價,因為水庫的安全與否影響太大了。

這樣做,批評總是難免的,但為了品質,大家總會諒解。

在這堙A我想要強調:賺錢重要,但國家整體的利益和人民的安全,比賺錢更重要。所有的人都要有公德心,尤其是做工程的人,因為工程的好壞與大家的生命有關,容許不了一點點差錯。

〔圖片說明〕

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鄭元慶攝

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鄭元慶攝

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截流系統計畫圖(定案計畫)

資料來源:台省住都局

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鄭元慶攝

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鐘永和攝

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淡水河不再發臭,河邊談心的日子也就不遠了。(邱勝旺攝)

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鄭元慶攝

相關文章

近期文章

EN

What the Decision Makers Say

Sunny Hsiao /photos courtesy of Arthur Jeng /tr. by Peter Eberly


Besides the plan itself, the public is even more concerned about the enormous cost of the project to clean up the Tamsui River and about the determination of the government to carry it out. To this end, Sinorama interviewed Premier Yu Kuo-hwa, president of the Executive Yuan, as well as the three top decision makers who are implementing the project: Shih Ch'un-jen, director-general of the Department of Health, Hsu Shui-teh, mayor of Taipei, and Ch'iu Ch'uang-huan, governor of Taipei Province.

The pollution problem of the Tamsui River system has been the subject of widespread public concern. Premier Yu Kuo-hwa, president of the Executive Yuan, also attaches great importance to this matter. After hearing "The Recovery Project of the Tamsui River Watershed Area," a plan drawn up by the Department of Health and presented at a meeting of the Executive Yuan at the end of April, Premier Yu raised six points, which he directed the responsible agencies to take note of, study, and carry out.

First, water pollution control is a task that admits of no short cuts. The Department of Health should have a comprehensive work plan, work methods, work steps, and work in progress and should keep the general public informed.

Second, the main sources of pollution of the water are domestic sewage from urban households, industrial waste water from factories, and refuse. If domestic sewage and industrial waste water can be prevented from flowing into the river, or can be treated before flowing in, and if refuse can be prevented from being dumped on the river banks or into the river, then the river will clean itself naturally. As a result, to ensure clean water in the Tamsui and Keelung rivers, an interception system or a sanitary sewerage system must be constructed along their banks; the quality standards for industrial waste water must be strictly controlled; and refuse must be appropriately treated. These tasks require huge expenditures as well as considerable amounts of time. Construction and engineering work takes even longer, as exemplified by the Taipei City sanitary sewerage system. So planning work must be carried out as quickly as possible first.

Third, it is hoped that work will be expeditiously carried out on the extension of the Taipei sanitary sewerage system to Sanchung and Luchou, on the sewage system on the upper reaches of Hsintien Creek, and on the municipal waste disposal project, which is one of the Fourteen Key Projects. A method of solving the industrial waste water problem should also be actively sought.

Fourth, an infrastructure for environmental protection entails enormous costs. The current cost of constructing the sanitary sewerage system, for example, is estimated by experts at around NT$15,000 per person. If the population of the Taipei municipal area in twenty years' time is calculated at five million, then NT$75 billion will required for the sanitary sewerage system alone, a huge figure. The Council for Economic Planning and Development has been requested, with regard to the public works and environmental engineering involved, to invite experts to research a financial system and a set of beneficiary charges appropriate for the implementation of the Tamsui/Keelung river pollution control plan.

Fifth, in addition to an infrastructure, management, and enforcement, education and guidance are also extremely important in environmental protection. The average person today is well off and keeps things neat inside the home, but outside he may litter and even dump refuse, which shows a lack of an environmental ethic. This is clearly an unethical and backward living habit. The government, which is making great efforts to carry out pollution control work on the Tamsui and Keelung rivers, also hopes that the entire populace of the Taipei municipal area will cherish and protect these two rivers: adding less pollution means better pollution control.

Sixth, to strengthen its environmental protection work, the government has decided to make the Bureau of Environmental Protection directly subordinate to the Executive Yuan. The Department of Health is requested to draft a reorganization plan for the bureau and report to the Yuan as quickly as possible so that legislative procedures can be completed at an early date after the Yuan has examined the plan.

Premier Yu also expressed his views toward this matter in an interview he granted to Sinorama in mid-May.

The premier stated that the Taiwan region has a prosperous society and a well-to-do way of life, but that owing to rapid economic growth, the increase of the population, and the swift spread of urbanization, the environmental protection measures and the related public infrastructure of the area have been hard put to remain adequate to the needs of the times. As a result, the same as in many countries, ecological and environmental problems have been produced; for example, the serious pollution of the Tamsui River, the Keelung River, and Tahan Creek of the Tamsui River system has adversely affected the environmental quality of the Taipei municipal area, giving rise to profound public attention. The government not only is concerned with but is also determined to control pollution in this river system, which has an impact on nearly one-fourth of the population of the Taiwan area, so that the cleanliness of the river's water quality can be recovered.

However, water pollution in rivers is completely different in nature from air and noise pollution. The former is a result accumulated over years and year; controlling it requires an appropriate and inclusive plan systematically and comprehensively carried out, and is not to be achieved in one step. Furthermore, each part of a single river system is interrelated, requiring the tracking of pollutants to their sources and integrated planning; the treatment cannot be piecemeal, or the work will be fruitless.

As to how to clean up the Tamsui River system, Premier Yu stated that his preliminary view is that the main sources of pollution of the Tamsui River system are pollution caused by urban domestic sewage, industrial waste water, and refuse dumped along the river banks. In addition, pig raisers on the upper reaches of the river system have also produced a considerable amount of pollution.

The method of controlling urban domestic sewage is to construct a modernized sewerage system that would collect sewage from buildings, transport it through sewage lines, treat it in treatment plants, and discharge it in a suitably selected location and which would prevent sewage that has not been treated appropriately from flowing into the river. This is an expensive and time-consuming task, but it is a fundamental and a necessary one.

Next, much practical work, including that on incinerators and sanitary burial sites, has already been started on the urban refuse treatment plan, which has been listed as one of the Fourteen Key Projects. This work fits in with the demands of the Tamsui River basin recovery project and should be carried out expeditiously.

The industrial waste water of the Taipei area is already subject to the control of environmental authorities, and livestock waste water, according to the discharge water quality standards recently announced, has also been placed under control. Polluters should bear the social costs for which they are responsible. In addition, after the Taipei area sewage system is completed, a great deal of industrial waste water may also be discharged through the system. So, several important projects related to controlling the pollution of the Tamsui river system are already actively under way. We hope that these projects can proceed together at the same time and in step in order that their total effect may be enhanced.

To ensure that proceeding at the same time not entail working at cross-purposes, many experts and scholars have hoped that an efficient joint-planning executive agency could coordinate and solve any problems that may arise during the course of the project.

Premier Yu also stated his views with respect to this point. He believes that the projects must be closely coordinated and methodically carried out; otherwise, should the pace be amiss, the overall goal will be difficult to attain. He stated that the Executive Yuan has directed that the Department of Health be responsible for setting up an organization to coordinate and supervise the projects; at the same time, he hopes that the environmental protection agency, after its forthcoming promotion to direct subordination to the Executive Yuan, can more forcefully and effectively fulfill the mission of promoting coordination. Should it meet with serious difficulties, it can still bring them up and request assistance from the advisory committee for sewerage system planning set up last August by the Executive Yuan.

(Sinorama editorial dept.)

SHIH CH'UN-JEN (director-general of the Department of Health):

In treating a "patient with a chronic disease," besides the medicine, the concern of the family is also important. . . .

Q: The Recovery Project of the Tamsui River Watershed Area that you proposed on April 30th calls for the river to become reoxygenated and stop smelling by 1991 and to reach normal constituent levels by 1995. How confident are you that this can be done?

A: Let me make an analogy first. The Tamsui River is like a sick man who's worked all his life making money for his family. Not until the family's well off and settled down do they realize they've been taking him for granted and that he's forfeited his health in the process.

In curing this kind of patient, a doctor's confidence depends as much on the cooperation and concern of the family as it does on his own medical skills.

The Tamsui has been sick a long time, and seriously. In the past, nobody paid much attention to it in the pursuit of economic prosperity. That President Chiang, Premier Yu, and the public in general are now extremely concerned about it and urgently hope it will recover is my greatest source of confidence.

Q: Plans to clean up the Tamsui have in fact been drawn up before, but they never amounted to anything. How is yours any different?

A: I think the most important difference now is that there's a determination at the policy-making level to implement this plan thoroughly and across-the-board.

The Tamsui basin covers sixteen districts in Taipei and 29 villages and townships, making the clean-up too big a job for the Department of Health alone. That's why, on the recommendation of the National Administrative Council held last June, the Executive Yuan created a special environmental task force to coordinate efforts among the various departments involved.

At the council, I chaired the discussion on the second core topic, which was "Environmental Pollution and Protection." At the time, we recommended concentrating initial efforts on the Keelung and Erhjen rivers, which are relatively small and would require comparatively little time and money to see results.

The public response to the plan was so great that the task force began to examine the Tamsui problem, and at the beginning of this year Premier Yu directed the Department of Health to draw up a Tamsui clean-up plan. The task force submitted its initial plan in April.

Q: That plan was said to have been "bounced back"--why? Did they have any recommendations?

A: The biggest problem was that the plan didn't set out any timetable for completion of the various tasks. I think this is important, too.

Q: What are the contents of the new plan? And what's the most urgent task on hand?

A: The new plan analyzes all the factors contributing to the pollution of the river and sets out the various steps needed to resolve the problem expeditiously.

The most pressing task at the moment is, of course, to prevent new sources of pollution. Besides this, statistics show that the greatest source of pollution of the Tamsui is human waste. To solve that problem, we plan to build a comprehensive sanitary sewerage system as well as an interception system along the banks of the river.

I'm confident that if we start now, we can raise the oxygenation level of the lower reaches of the Tamsui and stop it from smelling in eight to ten years' time.

Q: Premier Yu has pointed out the importance in this plan of educating and communicating with the public. As "chief physician," so to speak, what instructions would you want to give the "patient's family"?

A: As I just said, everyone's concern and support is the doctor's greatest source of confidence. But emotional concern is not enough; it needs to be accompanied by concrete action. I hope the public understands that cleaning up the Tamsui is not just the job of the government, but everyone's responsibility. We all live here and drink the water.

It's also important to understand that the Tamsui has a "chronic illness" that can't be cured in one quick operation. The eight-year plan I've proposed will simply "arrest the spread of disease"--later comes the "follow-up consultations" and the "rehabilitation work."

The British have been working on cleaning up the Thames for a century. It's a long-term project. We've still got a lot of work ahead of us.

(interview by Theresa Wang/ tr. by Peter Eberly)

HSU SHUI-TEH (mayor of Taipei):

If everybody pulls together, the Tamsui will have a hard time staying dirty even if it wants to!

Q: With regard to the Tamsui River clean-up project, Taipei City seems to be ahead of the provincial government in both funding and rate of progress. What's the situation at present?

A: Taipei City began planning reclamation of the Tamsui River in 1975. We've spent around NT$7.6 billion (about US$230 million) on construction of the sanitary sewerage system so far, and we expect to complete the system by 1990. However, we have no control over the Taipei County portion, which hasn't been worked on yet.

Q: Will the difference in rates of progress cause any friction between the city and provincial authorities?

A: Some people are worried that the city and the province will have communication problems.

Actually, we have many chances to communicate. Governor Ch'iu and I meet twice a week and regularly exchange ideas. So the communication of ideas is no problem. As to the actual work itself, the Council for Economic Planning and Development is responsible for ironing out any problems that may arise between the city and the province.

Q: Are there any advantages to the city and the province working together?

A: Although coordination takes some effort, there are advantages in working together. As everyone knows, property appropriation is one of the hardest jobs in the Tamsui plan. According to regulations, if Taiwan Province wants to appropriate a piece of property, all it needs is the approval of the provincial government. But Taipei City has to report to the Ministry of Interior, which then reports to the Executive Yuan, which in turn reports to the provincial government for approval--a complicated, time-consuming procedure.

Q: What's the biggest difficulty you've met with in carrying out the plan?

A: To be honest, it's funding.

Taipei City is required to bear NT$38.6 billion of the entire costs for the plan. Many people think that Taipei City has a lot of money, but I think that the national government needs to help. Why? Because the Tamsui River is not only a problem for Taipei but also concerns the national image--just as the clean-up of the Han River makes people think of the vitality of South Korea besides being a success for Seoul.

With assistance, we could speed up the rate of progress. The public has high demands, and we hope to finish before schedule, if possible.

Q: What's the point in finishing ahead of schedule?

A: Because the public demand is pressing!

Also, the sooner the system is completed, the more households can be connected up to it and the faster the water quality of the Tamsui will improve.

At the present rate of progress, 28 percent of the households in Taipei will be hooked up by the end of this year, and 45 percent by 1990. This represents a rather high proportion; the current figure for Japan is less than 36 percent.

The Tihua waste treatment plant can currently process 280,000 metric tons of waste water a day, but it won't be able to handle the growing volume in the future. So raising the capacity and quality of the Tihua plant is another urgent task.

Q: What exactly do "capacity" and "quality" refer to?

A: Capacity means installing more space-saving equipment to raise the volume of water processed at the plant. As to quality, the Taipei environmental protection authorities will institute a Tamsui River water pollution control system in 1991, and the Tihua plant must provide secondary treatment or higher for its water to meet the system's standards. Right now, the plant provides only primary treatment.

Q: Why does the Tihua plant meet only primary standards?

A: The standards demanded of the plant at the time it was designed were not as high as they are today. Also, it would have doubled the cost. Now, we're not only going to make the plant meet the secondary standards; we're also planning to bring it up to tertiary after that.

Q: It looks like the government really is determined to do a good job of it.

A: With the present technology and the level of concern and importance people attach to it, the government must do a good job.

But reclamation of the river is only the first step. The environment on the riverbanks is also of great importance. Urban planning should be undertaken to develop residential and recreation areas along the banks and add to the functions of the river.

Q: After the river's cleaned up, how will it be maintained?

A: That will require coordinated efforts.

Taipei City set up a Tamsui River patrol force in 1983, but its policing duties, which cover illegal construction and dumping of garbage, do not extend to water pollution. In the future, the city will set up a special agency to manage the river, and water pollution will be among its enforcement responsibilities. And the pig raisers and underground factories along the banks will be cracked down on.

All of this will require the cooperation of the public. I believe that if each of us demands as much of ourselves as we do of the government, then cleaning up the Tamsui River won't be difficult.

(interview by Sunny Hsiao/ tr. by Peter Eberly)

CH'IU CH'UANG-HUAN (governor of Taiwan Province):

We've got to work harder to catch up.

Q: What role do you play in the Tamsui River clean-up project? What is the focal point of your work?

A: Actually, the provincial government noticed the problem of pollution in the Tamsui River long ago but has lacked the funding to do what it wanted. Now that Premier Yu has given clear directions to get the job done, our obstacles have decreased.

The Department of Health is in charge of overall planning and coordination. Our principle task is cooperate in implementation. Our work is currently focused on planning and implementation of the sewerage system for the environs of Taipei City in Taiwan Province.

Q: This project will involve agencies of both Taipei City and Taipei Province. Will there be any conflicts?

A: Coordination between the two administrations is really no problem because our goal is the same; however, the pace may be different. Why? Because Taipei City has a more ample budget and can therefore work faster. That means we've got to work harder to catch up.

Q: Funding is a big problem for almost any project. How much will this one cost? Is the Taipei Province allocation adequate?

A: There's no way we could do it on the provincial budget alone, so the national government has given us a subsidy. The total cost is estimated at around NT$28 billion (about US$875 million), but this figure uses 1983 prices, so the cost will actually be higher.

Q: What is your greatest difficulty now that the funding has been solved?

A: To be honest, the key to how smoothly the engineering work goes is how much support and cooperation we get from the landowners and residents along the path of construction.

The engineering itself is not our biggest problem.

Q: So how are you going to get their support and cooperation ?

A: That will depend on coordination and communication. For example, we'll have to communicate with the local populace first and obtain their understanding before proceeding with our work. It will take a lot of "jawboning." And at the same time that we ask for the public's cooperation, we'll also have to leave them a road out.

Q: Besides this, what other difficulties are there?

A: Maintaining quality control has been of some concern, chiefly because of the open bidding system. That's because some companies may bid so low that there's really no profit to speak of and then try to do shoddy work and use inferior materials once they get the job. That would certainly affect the quality of construction, and the public would be the victims.

Because of this, some people propose adopting a "reasonable bid" system-that means selecting the bidder who comes closest to the estimated cost of the project. But in this case the low bidder would complain that the government and the contractor were "in cahoots" and so the system hasn't been implemented at present.

As a result, we hope that the more difficult construction work on the project will be given to the more reliable companies. For example, the provincial government has decided to allow the Retired Servicemen's Engineering Agency to construct the Nanhua reservoir for a negotiated price because the safety of the dam is critical.

Here I want to stress that saving money is important but the national interest and the people's safety is more so. We must all be public spirited, especially those engaged in construction, because the quality of the construction is a matter of life and death-there's no room for the slightest mistake.

[Picture Caption]

Photo by Arthur Jeng

Source: Taiwan Province Housing and Urban Development Bureau

Interception System Plan

Photo by Arthur Jeng

Photo by Arthur Jeng

Photo by Chung Yung-ho

The day when the Tamsui River stops smelling and its banks become a place for lovers is not far off. (photo by Chiu Sheng-wang)

Photo by Arthur Jeng

 

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