A proposal by Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp, the operator of the nation’s high-speed rail, to increase the maximum number of train trips that can be made on special high-load days to 210 a day passed an environmental impact -assessment yesterday.
The Environmental Protection Administration gathered environmental impact assessment specialists to discuss the impact of increasing the number of runs on high-load days, such as during Lunar New Year or on election day.
A previous assessment had set a limit of 175 runs a day.
In addition to evaluating noise pollution and carbon emissions, the specialists assessed land subsidence along the high-speed rail line, especially in Yunlin and Changhua counties.
Taiwan High Speed Rail said subsidence resulted from structural aspects that had already been evaluated before construction, adding that no irregular or unexpected subsidence had been observed over the past four years.
The company agreed to continue monitoring subsidence if the number of trains are increased.
The specialists told the panel they all agreed that adding to the number of trains would have a positive impact by reducing carbon emissions and that the immediate threat of land subsidence remained unproven and required further monitoring.
However, the specialists asked the company to provide clear and specific measures on how it intends to monitor the environmental impact if the numbers of train trips is increased to more than 175 per day.
The specialists asked the operator to provide a clear definition of “high-load days” to better regulate when adding train trips might be permitted.
President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration is seeking to join an Indo-Pacific economic framework being planned by the US, a senior official said. The government is paying close attention to the regional economic pact being touted by US President Joe Biden, although too few details have emerged from Washington for Taipei to make specific plans, the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity. The US is expected to launch the Indo-Pacific economic framework next month after negotiations with Australia, India and Japan, the official said. The economic initiative is to tackle trade facilitation, standards for the digital economy and technology, supply-chain resiliency and
PIVOTAL ROLE: Taiwan’s importance in the global chip supply chain can be bolstered by domestic equipment manufacturing, President Tsai Ing-wen said Efforts must be made to better secure Taiwan’s place in the global supply chain by localizing production of equipment and facilities used by the semiconductor industry, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday. Tsai discussed the issue during a meeting with representatives from the Taiwan Electronic Equipment Industry Association at the Presidential Office in Taipei. Product shortages throughout the COVID-19 pandemic — particularly of automotive chips — highlighted the pivotal role of Taiwan in the global supply chain, she said. Tsai thanked the association for cooperating with the government on the shared goal of localizing production of important semiconductor industry equipment.
SEPARATE CASE? A woman tested positive when she went with her daughter to be tested, because her daughter had taken the same bus to school as a steakhouse worker The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported 10 local COVID-19 cases, six of whom had visited a steakhouse in Taoyuan where an infection cluster has been reported. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that of the 10 local infections, one case — No. 17,928 — is a Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport disease prevention staffer who works in the area where inbound travelers collect their saliva for a COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, and sometimes at the fever screening station. The staffer had tested negative in a PCR test on Jan. 9 and
TRACING UNDER WAY: The CECC has identified six transmission chains among 25 recently confirmed COVID-19 cases, including those linked to a restaurant and a bank The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported 54 new COVID-19 infections — 44 imported and 10 local — and identified six transmission chains among local cases. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said the imported cases are 18 who tested positive upon arrival at the airport and 26 who tested positive during quarantine. Of the local cases, seven are associated with a cluster infection at a Tasty Steak (西堤牛排) outlet in Taoyuan’s Zhongli District (中壢), one is linked to a family of four with COVID-19 reported on Monday, one is a family member of an