Mon, Dec 11, 2006 - Page 2 News List

`Green purchasing' by public agencies wins EPA approval

By Chung Li-hua  /  STAFF REPORTER , WITH CNA

The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) yesterday said that the efforts made by publicly run agencies to use and procure environmentally friendly products were commendable.

To set the pace for environmental protection efforts, the Cabinet had set a goal for this year whereby 80 percent of procurement made by governmental agencies would be green products, EPA officials said.

"Green" procurement by governmental agencies as a whole totaled NT$3.464 billion [US$107.2 million] in the first half of the year, an increase of NT$26 million compared with the same period last year, the officials said.

Next year -- when the government's "green procurement" will aim to reach 83 percent -- more public agencies, including the Presidential Office, Legislative Yuan, Judicial Yuan, Examination Yuan and Control Yuan will also be included in the "green procurement" and "green consumption" initiative.

The initiative starts on Jan. 1, EPA officials said.

Privately run companies and private organizations will also be required to jump on the bandwagon on Jan. 1, they noted.

In related news, a report sponsored by the EPA has shown the concentration of dioxin in car exhaust exceeds that of incinerator exhaust in some cases.

The report prompted Chang Moo-been (張木彬), the head of National Central University's Graduate Institute of Environmental Engineering, to suggest that those who are exposed to traffic exhaust on a regular basis, such as commuters and scooter riders, should consider wearing high-filtration face masks.

The study, conducted by Cheng Shiu University's super micro mass research and technology center, tested diesel vehicles, sports utility vehicles and scooters.

According to the preliminary results, the average SUV tested emits 0.069 nanograms of dioxin per cubic meter of exhaust, with one vehicle emitting as much as 0.147 nanograms.

Of the three diesel models tested, emission ranged from 0.037 to 0.24 nanograms per cubic meter of exhaust.

Results from the scooter tests have not been released yet, although assistant professor Wang Lin-chi (王琳麒) anticipates that the dioxin concentration should be lower for scooter exhaust.

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