::: Monthly News

Taoyuan City Tops EPA Air Quality Evaluation for the 11th Year in a Row

Maintaining sound air quality has always been the mission of the Department of Environmental Protection, Taoyuan City (TYDEP). The Environmental Protection Administration has now awarded the city the rating of High Distinction in its annual evaluation for 11 consecutive years. The unparalleled performance has also seen a decline in PM 2.5 concentrations to 15.1 μg/m3 in 2019, a new record low for Taoyuan City. Even as the population and number of motor vehicles continued to increase, the PM 2.5 concentrations that have created so much concern have actually decreased instead. The city saw an 11.7% improvement in PM 2.5 that was 1.9 times greater than the national average (6.3%).  A host of innovative and effective control initiatives including in-depth audits of industries with high pollution potential, negotiating with large factories for voluntary reductions, converting boilers to natural gas, pioneering the first online monitoring system for the operating parameters of pollution prevention equipment, encouraging the retirement and replacement of diesel vehicles, subsidies for low-pollution transportation, authorizing the issue of self-management marks by maintenance service providers in the private-sector, eco-logistics controls at Taoyuan Airport, encouraging the installation of automated CO2 and PM 2.5 monitoring facilities by kindergartens, and encouraging businesses to adopt air quality purification zones were all a testament to the wide-ranging investments on air quality protection. The feat of balancing economic development with environmental sustainability in a city with many industrial parks is a feat that TYDEP has now accomplished.

Rolling checks and follow-ups were carried out by TYDEP for industries with high pollution potential to identify the actual emissions of stationary pollution sources. Operators were required to upgrade their pollution control equipment and pay air pollution levees. Negotiations were conducted with large pollution sources and agreement reached with 8 major vendors on optimizing the operation of their pollution control equipment. Under the “Taoyuan City Self-Government Ordinance on Real-Time Monitoring of Stationary Pollution Sources and Pollution Control Equipment," the first regulation of its type in Taiwan, all 71 processes designated for phase 1 have now been connected for 24-hour monitoring of pollution prevention control equipment operations and emissions, slashing the number of complaints by 61%. All 139 processes designated for phase 2 are expected to be connected by June 30 next year (2021) and enhance the level of control over air pollution even more. Taoyuan City is actively promoting clean energy as well by offering between $300,000 to $600,000 in subsidies per boiler through the “Natural Gas Conversion for Boilers Subsidy Program.” 279 industrial boilers have received assistance under the program since 2015, reducing SOx emissions by approximately 815 tonnes and NOx emissions by approximately 422 tonnes. 

For the control of mobile pollution sources, Taoyuan City now has the smallest number of two-stroke motorcycles out of the six municipalities at just 38,595 vehicles. The subsidies offered for promoting low-pollution transportation were also the highest of the six municipalities. Taoyuan has the highest number and market share of electric two-wheeled vehicles in Taiwan at 102,449 and 8.2% respectively. To encourage the replacement of high-pollution diesel vehicles from phase 1 and phase 2, Taoyuan City became the first city to provide bonus subsidies for more than 400 cases. In 2019, a total of 786 phase 1 and phase 2 diesel vehicles were scrapped, putting Taoyuan in Taiwan’s top 3. The number of phase 5 diesel vehicles also increased from 15,125 in 2019 to 18,998 this year. Taoyuan is therefore making solid progress towards reducing the number of high-pollution vehicles.

For fugitive emission control, air quality monitors and surveillance equipment were installed at selected high-pollution construction sites. Real-time monitoring of pollution controls for vehicles upon arrival/departure helped reduce dust from the construction and site and on surrounding roads. Approximately 200 paper money collection boxes were installed at temples within the city jurisdiction to collect paper money for disposal. 445 tonnes of paper money was collected in 2019. Kindergartens were all encouraged to install indoor air quality monitoring systems. These have now been installed at 292 kindergartens throughout the city to watch over public and children’s health. The initiative has proved popular and will be renewed in the future.

TYDEP Director-General Li-Teh Lu said that the 11.7% improvement in the city’s PM 2.5 levels was the best of the six municipalities and a tangible reflection of TYDEP’s longstanding efforts on air quality protection. He attributed this not only to the efforts of Taoyuan residents but also to the continued support of environmental protection policies by business organizations. TYDEP will continue to refine its air pollution control measures proactively to maintain a clean breathing and living environment. The promotion of environmental protection can then become more than just policies being implemented but also actually look after the health of city residents. 
 

 

Taoyuan City Tops EPA Air Quality Evaluation for the 11th Year in a Row

 

Taoyuan City Tops EPA Air Quality Evaluation for the 11th Year in a Row

   

Taoyuan City Tops EPA Air Quality Evaluation for the 11th Year in a Row