In the period since President Tsai came into the office (from 20 May 2016 to 19 May 2018), manual monitoring data from the EPA’s air quality monitoring stations showed 21.1μg/m3 in the year before the inauguration date, 19.2μg/m3 during the first year, and 17.7μg/m3 in the second year. Average annual PM2.5 concentrations improvement rates were 9.0% and 16.1% in the first and second year, respectively.
Looking at automated monitoring data and analysis of red alerts for PM2.5 (daily average>=54μg/m3 ) from air quality monitoring stations, there were 831 red alerts in the year immediately before the Tsai administration took office (taken as a baseline), with 632 and 376 red alerts in the first and second years of her term, respectively. Improvement rates were 23.9% and 54.8% during the first and second year, showing the outstanding results during the Tsai administration.
For times of poor air quality and atmospheric dispersal conditions, the EPA has set up four Category-2 control and command centers based on the Regulations Governing Emergency Measures to Prevent Severely Deteriorated Air Quality (空氣品質嚴重惡化緊急防制辦法). The purpose is to activate various departments to take actions before air quality deteriorates. Meanwhile, regional governments have set up local control and command centers, which collaborate Vol. XXI Issue 6, 2018 Electronic Environmental Policy Monthly 6 Air Mandatory Installation of Air Pollution Control Equipment for Restaurants Considered The air pollutants produced in the cooking process by the food and beverage industry can have a significant effect on regional air quality. Hence, the EPA plans to formulate the Management Regulations Governing Air Pollution Control Equipment for the Food and Beverage Industry. To improve air quality, the regulations stipulate that enterprises that have reached a certain scale are required to install cooking fume extractors, exhaust pipes, air pollution control equipment, and vents. Manual monitoring data shows that average annual PM2.5 concentration improvement rates were 9.0% and 16.1% in the first and second year, respectively, of the Tsai administration. and coordinate with the central government as well as private sector entities to work toward significantly lowering the number of days with poor air quality.
The EPA expedited the passing of the Air Pollution Control Action Plan through the Executive Yuan, and has been actively promoting boiler replacement, installation of equipment for oily emissions from the food and beverage industry, less and less widespread burning of joss paper, and audits and controls for construction projects. Other measures include reduction of open-air burning incidents and areas, fugitive dust control in river areas, replacement of firstand second-phase diesel vehicles, smoke filtration equipment installation on third-phase diesel vehicles, phase-out of two-stroke motorcycles, and promotion of electric vehicles. Moreover, collection of air pollution control fees has been reviewed with the aim of finding ways to encourage installation and more efficient operation of pollution control equipment. Through regular reviews and more active implementation of various measures, the EPA aims to reach a target of no more than 18μg/m3 for annual average PM2.5 emissions and a reduction by half compared to 2015 in the number of red alert days by 2019.
The EPA noted that the draft revisions of the Air Pollution Control Act passed the Legislative Yuan’s preliminary review on 9 April 2018. In an effort to construct a more well-rounded air quality control system, active discussions and coordination with various parties will be pursued to ensure speedy processing of the Act’s amendments. Furthermore, the EPA will keep working with relevant ministries and regional governments to improve air quality and safeguard public health through multiple methods.
- Environmental Protection Administration, R.O.C.(Taiwan)