The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has the main responsibility for environmental policy. Water pollution from raw sewage and industrial effluents is a significant problem in Taiwan. Outside the larger hotels and urban centers, the water is likely to be impure. Health problems like hepatitis result from waterborne contaminants. Water quality is regulated under provisions of the sanitary drinking water legislation of 1972 and the 1974 Water Pollution Control Act.
Air pollution is another significant problem, complicated by a high pollen count. Solid waste disposal regulations and air quality standards were adopted in 1975. All factories are required to comply with established standards, the cost of installing antipollution devices being written off as a depreciable item over two years. Taiwan in 1978 adopted the safety procedures for nuclear facilities issued by the IAEA. In the mid-1980s, the government began tightening emission standards for automobiles and ordered many factories and power plants to install filters and dust collectors. The EPA announced plans in 1987 to install an island-wide pollution-monitoring system.
Wildlife management is the responsibility of the National Wildlife Protection Association of the Republic of China. The nation's marine life is threatened by the use of driftnets. Endangered species include the Formosan sika, hawksbill turtle, Oriental white stork, and Lan Yü scops owl. Trade in endangered species has been reported.