On 25 February, with easterly winds in the wind field, low wind speeds coupled with poor vertical diffusion conditions and eddy currents generated off the sea in the north, pollutants were blowing northward, resulting in a rapid deterioration of air quality in the Greater Taipei area. The EPA and various local governments immediately initiated load reduction measures for pollution sources in response to changes in the air quality. At the same time, the EPA requested Taipower to reduce the electricity output from its power plants in the western half of Taiwan by 20% from 5 p.m. of 25 February to 5 a.m. of 26 February. All parties were fully prepared to respond to changes in the air quality.
The EPA said that upon discovering that the air quality in northern Taiwan was deteriorating that day, it asked Taipower to reduce electricity output. For the next three days, all oil and coal-fired power plants in western Taiwan such as Hsieh-Ho, Linkou, Taichung, Hsinta, and Mailiao had reduced a total of 377 million kWh of electricity, which is equivalent to reducing the emissions from one month of electricity consumption in Kaohsiung City (1.12 million households). As for local governments, in addition to issuing protection advisories and strengthening inspections, Taipei City doubled the number of intercepted high-polluting vehicles, and instructed Neihu, Muzha and Beitou incinerators to reduce their loads by 20%. New Taipei City also instructed Xindian, Shulin and Bali incineration plants to reduce their loads by 20% simultaneously, and required 24 key pollution sources within its jurisdiction to reduce their loads and emissions, among which cogeneration generators should reduce output by 30% per day. Moreover, Taoyuan City notified the factories with emissions that are in the top 50% and 180 construction sites to strengthen their pollution prevention measures. Taichung City notified their top 30 largest factories to reduce their loads on their own, and the 21-power generation and cogeneration generators in Yunlin County implemented friendly output reduction and 18-49% shutdown. Overall, central, and northern Taiwan counties and cities mobilized quickly and actively responded to the poor air quality.
Excerpt from Major Environmental Policies, Mar 2021
- Environmental Protection Administration, R.O.C.(Taiwan)