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Tackling air pollution


Improving air quality and tackling air pollution—especially pollution from suspended fine particulate matter (PM2.5)—are top priorities for many countries around the world. According to the Environmental Protection Administration, approximately 40% of Taiwan's average annual concentrations of PM2.5 drift in from abroad, while the remaining 60% originate within the country.

As part of a comprehensive remedy to the air quality problem, the government introduced an air pollution control strategy and an air pollution control action plan in 2017, as well as amendments to the Air Pollution Control Act in 2018. To continue and expand on these efforts, the government launched a new air pollution control plan (2020-2023) to curb pollution at all points along its origin, from preventing its formation to implementing end-of-pipe technologies. The plan has better safeguarded the public's health by achieving the goal of an annual average PM2.5 concentration of 15 μg/m3 or less across Taiwan by 2023, as well as reducing emissions of volatile organic compounds to alleviate ground-level ozone pollution.

Targets of the air pollution control plan

■ Stationary sources of pollution: Strategies for controlling stationary pollution sources include establishing consistent principles nationwide for the review of fuel permits; changing fuel types or strengthening equipment technology to reduce pollutants; and improving continuous emission monitoring systems to enhance monitoring data quality and strengthen inspection and control capabilities.

Mobile sources of pollution: Efforts include expediting the replacement of aging motorcycles; reducing emissions from diesel vehicles; instituting more transport controls at ports and harbors; and transitioning to electric bus fleets in urban areas.

■ Fugitive sources of pollution: Strategies include toughening controls on volatile organic compounds in paints; discouraging open-air burning practices; and strengthening regulations on cooking fumes from restaurants and eateries.

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