The government is considering amending laws to regulate or ban the Color Run or similar events on account of the pollution it may cause to the environment, Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) Minister Stephen Sheng (沈世宏) said yesterday.
The 5km race, in which runners are showered with colored powder along the run, debuted in Taiwan last month. However, it generated controversy recently as the organizer was found sweeping the colored powder directly into the Keelung River after the race was over.
The Taipei City Government’s Department of Environmental Protection then fined the Taipei organizer NT$70,000 for causing river pollution.
Sheng briefed the lawmakers on the legislature’s Social Welfare and Environmental Hygiene Committee on the operations of the EPA, who expressed concern over the pollution generated by the event.
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Wang Yu-ming (王育敏) said the government should take forceful action to restrict or ban the event if the substance could pollute the environment and hurt people’s health.
Sheng said a granule of the colored powder was about 16 micrometers in size and therefore unlikely to be breathed into someone’s windpipe or bronchi under normal circumstances.
However, he said that Color Run participants have to breathe heavily when running and could breathe in the powder.
“Some people may also consider it visual pollution when they see bright and shiny colored powder,” Sheng said. “When people wash the colored powder off their bodies and clothes, the runoff will flow into the river and contaminate it.”
Given that the Color Run would have such a negative impact on the environment, Sheng said that the agency would work with local governments to regulate this type of event.
Sheng said that the EPA has a manual to determine if an event is environmentally-friendly, and that it gives an organizer advice on how to lower the event’s impact on the environment.
He said the agency could also include restrictions in the manual for holding similar events.
Proposed legislation in the US outlines three conditions in which Washington would be authorized to protect Taiwan were China to invade, a report said yesterday. US Representative Ted Yoho this month said he would introduce a Taiwan Invasion Prevention Act, which would authorize US military force if China were to invade Taiwan-controlled areas, including its outlying islands. According to a version of the bill obtained by the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the sister paper of the Taipei Times), the bill lists three conditions in which a US president would be authorized to use military force to protect Taiwan: If China uses military force
Two new commuter trains are scheduled to be launched in January next year, the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) said yesterday. The acquisition of EMU-900 commuter train cars is part of the railway operator’s plan to replace 589 train cars that have been in operation for more than three decades. The agency has also placed orders to buy 600 intercity train cars. The first batch of 20 EMU-900 cars is to be delivered to the nation in September, although delivery might be delayed until October due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the agency said. The batch would be formed into two trains of 10
The Supreme Court on Tuesday found four men guilty of attempted murder in the 2017 stabbing of Spanish surfer Ignacio Prio on a Pingtung County beach in the final ruling in the case, sentencing them to three-and-a-half to six years in prison. The defendants had appealed their convictions for attempted murder in the first and second rulings, which had also led to prison sentences ranging from three-and-a-half years to six years. The then-42-year-old Prio went to Jialeshui Beach (佳樂水) near Kenting (墾丁) on March 31, 2017, was attacked after he asked four men to remove their fishing lines from an area
MEDICINAL HERB: The FRIL protein extracted from hyacinth beans helped laboratory mice survive H1N1 infection and effectively neutralized the coronavirus A protein isolated from hyacinth beans, a medicinal herb known for centuries, has been found to restrict the activities of SARS-CoV-2 and influenza viruses in laboratory experiments, a team of Academia Sinica researchers said yesterday. The beans’ curative effect is documented in the 16th-century Chinese medicine classic Compendium of Materia Medica (本草綱目) and they are also a food source in some countries, the Genomics Research Center’s Chemical Biology Division Director Alex Ma (馬徹) told a news conference in Taipei. Center senior research specialist Jan Jia-tsrong (詹家琮) experimented with up to 500 medicinal herbs to see if they could restrict influenza viruses and