February 15, 2006
The Ministry of the Environment compiled the data on the status of confirmed illegal dumping and improper storage (hereinafter referred to as "the improper disposal") of sulfate pitch*1 for the first half of FY2005 (from April 1 to September 30, 2005), with the cooperation of prefectural governments and cities with public health centers.
|1.||Number of cases and quantity of improper disposal of sulfate pitch|
There were 13 confirmed cases of improper disposal of sulfate pitch during the period, with a total amount of 1,127 barrels (quantity converted into metal barrels). Both the number and the quantity decreased from the 19 cases and 1,511 barrels, respectively, recorded in the second half of FY2004 (from October 1, 2004 to March 31, 2005). The number of improper disposal cases has been declining each fiscal year since the first half of FY2004 and quantity since the first half of FY2003. (Table 1)
|2.||Breakdown of improper disposal of sulfate pitch by type|
The breakdown of improper disposal confirmed during the first half of FY2005 was as follows: (i) of the number of cases; illegal dumping 23%, improper storage 69%, and improper transportation 8%; and (ii) of quantity; illegal dumping 9%, improper storage 89%, and improper transportation 2%.
|3.||Breakdown of perpetrators of improper disposal of sulfate pitch|
The breakdown of perpetrators of improper disposal cases confirmed during the first half of FY2005 was as follows: (i) of the number of cases; both the businesses that generate sulfate pitch (hereinafter referred to as "the sulfate pitch generators") and unknown operators each recorded 31% respectively, and collection/transportation operators (including non-authorized operators) 15%; (ii) of quantity; sulfate pitch generators accounted for 59 %, and warehouse operators (including land owners) 20%. (Table 2)
|4.||Treatment of improperly disposed sulfate pitch|
Among the improper disposal cases confirmed by the end of the first half of FY2005 since FY1999, 74% were fully treated, 9% were partially treated, and 17% were not treated at all. Of quantity, 76% was fully treated and 24% was not treated. (Fig. 1)
|5.||Parties undertaking the treatment of improperly disposed sulfate pitch|
The parties undertaking the treatment of improperly disposed sulfate pitch mentioned in 4 above were as follows: 26% of the cases were done by the sulfate pitch generators, and 23 % by local municipalities (administrative subrogation). In terms of quantity, on the contrary, administrative subrogation by local municipalities was the highest, at 29%, and 19 % by the sulfate pitch generators. (Table 3)
|6.||Status of issuance of order for action, administrative subrogation, etc.|
Among the improper disposal cases (241 cases, 62,998 barrels) confirmed the by the end of the first half of FY2005 since 1999, orders for action were issued to 66 cases. Among these 66 cases, administrative subrogation was conducted for 50 cases (19,252 barrels).
|The sulfate pitch concerned is a mixture of waste sulfate and waste hydrocarbon oil generated during the treatment process using concentrated sulfuric acid, aiming to remove the oil marker coumarin contained in Bunker (heavy oil) A and kerosene when illegal light oil (mixture of Bunker A and kerosene sold and used as light oil, evading light oil delivery tax) is illicitly manufactured. Sulfate pitch has properties that may cause significant damage to human health and the living environment, namely extreme corrosiveness and generation of toxic gas.|
|Under the partial amendment of the Waste Management and Public Cleansing Law in 2004, sulfate pitch became listed as one of the specified hazardous wastes, and thus more stringent treatment standards, including limiting the amount of storage to under 20 kiloliters, were applied. In case of breach of the law, the party involved shall be subject to direct punishment.|
|In addition to the status of improper disposal of sulfate pitch, the status of improper disposal of sludge (residue of additives such as activated clay and active carbon for refining light oil in illegal manufacturing processes) was also surveyed. The survey indicated that the improper disposal of sludge amounted to 17 cases which amounted to 4,055 barrels (quantity converted into metal barrels) in the first half of FY2005. By the end of the first half of FY 2005, a total of 200 cases which amounted to 51,353 barrels has been confirmed since FY1999.|