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Tackling air pollution— protecting Taiwan's health, sustaining the environment

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

As part of a comprehensive remedy to the air quality problem, the government introduced an air pollution control strategy in April 2017, followed by an air pollution control action plan in December of that year, as well as amendments to the Air Pollution Control Act in 2018. To continue and expand on these efforts, the government recently launched a new air pollution control plan, which is expected to devote NT$51.1 billion (US$1.8 billion) from 2020 through 2023 to tightening regulation over industrial, transportation and fugitive sources of emissions. The plan will also intensify monitoring of the environment, harness technology to aid law enforcement, and join together efforts of the public and private sectors along with civic groups. All of these efforts will pull Taiwan closer to its objectives of cutting harmful emissions and ensuring environmental sustainability.

Targets of the new air pollution control plan (2020-2023)

■ 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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