To further improve poor seasonal air quality, the EPA intends to raise the seasonal fee rates for air pollution control. This economic incentive can encourage private and public premises to lower air pollutant emission when their operators voluntarily adjust production capacity during the seasons of poor air quality. Not only does this reduce air pollution fee expenditures, but also significantly improves air quality, creating a win-win situation for both the environment and economy.
Taiwan suffers seasonal poor air quality in the period from October to March. Due to the drop in the mixing layer height and the increase of northeasterly winds, air quality is under a greater influence from offshore pollutant transmission, poor dispersion of domestic emissions, and secondary pollutants created by ultraviolet photochemical reactions in the atmosphere, all leading to poor air quality.
The EPA explained that the adjustment raised the fee rates for the winter and the fall seasons (from January to March and from October to December) and lowered the rates for the spring and summer seasons (from April to June and from July to September). This was to enlarge the difference between the fee rates for the poor-air-quality seasons and the rates for the other two seasons. For private and public premises not subject to the basic fee rates, the fee rates for sulfur oxides and nitrogen oxides were increased by NT$1 to NT$2.5/kg during the poor-air-quality seasons (winter and fall) and decreased by NT$1 to NT$2/kg for the other two seasons. The fee rates for volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were increased by NT$5/kg during the poor-air-quality seasons and decreased by NT$5.5/kg for the other two seasons.
Furthermore, the EPA changed the calculation for the baseline year emissions to motivate private and public premises to voluntarily redistribute production capacity to different seasons or raise the efficiency of control equipment. The new calculation is based on the average emissions of the same season in the three years preceding the declaration. If the emissions of the premises during poor-air-quality seasons are less than those during the same periods of the baseline year, the premises are eligible to apply for a discount in their fee rates. The discount factor was also increased from 20% to 30% as a reward to motivate polluters to take voluntary control measures. This way the air quality will be further improved, and the goal of collecting air pollution fees will be reached.
Excerpt from Environmental Policy Monthly, 23 (4)
- Environmental Protection Administration, R.O.C.(Taiwan)