Clear The Air News Blog Rotating Header Image

Taiwan enacts new regulations on air particulates

Taipei, Dec. 14 (CNA) New regulations on the allowable amount of fine particles in the air will help the nation’s air quality meet stricter standards within the next decade, the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) said Wednesday.

The EPA said the permitted amount of particles smaller than 2.5 micrometers, or PM2.5, will be limited to a yearly average of 15 micrograms per cubic meter (ug/m3) and a daily average of 35ug/m3, through a two-phase implementation of the regulations.

PM2.5 — known for its health risk as it tends to penetrate the respiratory system and lead to chronic disease — will be controlled under the regulations, which have been adopted only by the United States and Japan, the EPA said.

“Taiwan will be only the third country in the world to adopt these air quality control measures,” said Hsieh Yein-rui, director-general of the EPA’s Department of Air Quality Protection and Noise Control.

According to Hsieh, the EPA will work with the nation’s heavy industries, such as the petrochemical and the iron and steel sectors, to cut down the precursor gases that can form PM2.5.

Joint efforts with other government branches will also be carried out to develop a public transport system using hybrid-electric vehicles as well as to reduce the use of synthetic fertilizer, Hsieh added.

“I am optimistic that we could catch up soon with Japan and the U.S. in terms of air quality control,” said Chang Ken-Hui, a member of an EPA task force set up to implement the move.

Chang said the amount of PM2.5 in Taiwan was reduced by 7.5 percent between 2006 and 2010 and maintained a yearly average of 20.8 ?g/m3, or 1.4 times the average in the U.S. and Japan.

Chang also suggested that a more aggressive approach is needed in terms of dealing with China, because as much as 37 percent of the PM 2.5 recorded in Taiwan is borne on the wind from China.

“The seasonal winds usually carry fine particles from China to Taiwan in spring and winter,” he said, adding that “multinational cooperation is needed to address the problem.” (By Lee Hsin-Yin) ENDITEM/J

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *