Starting this year, car owners will have to make more environmentally friendly choices when they purchase new vehicles, the Environmental Protection Administration's (EPA) Air Quality Protection and Noise Control director-general, Hsiao Hui-chuan (蕭慧娟), said yesterday.
To help make the nation's air cleaner, the administration implemented the fourth stage of its motor vehicle emission standards yesterday, Hsiao said.
"We want to encourage everyone to buy cars that have low emissions, are fuel-efficient and possess good noise reduction systems," she said.
"The fourth stage of the regulations will see a heavy cut in greenhouse gas emissions from cars because it includes standards that are two-thirds stricter than the third stage in terms of hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxide and carbon dioxide emissions will be enforced," Hsiao said.
The emissions allowance for newly manufactured or imported cars will be one-third of that of the third stage.
"In addition, all new or newly imported cars are required to come equipped with On Board Diagnostics [OBD] to monitor the vehicle's emissions [and relative pollution] levels," she said.
Current vehicle owners are not bound by the new regulations, she added.
OBD systems are computers that keep track of emission control elements in a vehicle, Hsiao said, adding that when part of a vehicle becomes defective, the system indicates the problem with warning lights on the car's dashboard.
In related news, starting yesterday a new law controlling low-frequency noises also came into force, Hsiao said.
Prior to the law's implementation, frequencies between 20Hz and 200Hz -- the kind of noise produced by air-conditioning units -- were unregulated, Hsiao said. She said in the short term, exposure to such sounds was not as serious as high-pitched noises, but prolonged exposure could produce adverse effects in people.
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