A coalition of environmental groups on Sunday called for the termination of an expansion project of the Central Taiwan Science Park in Taichung, a gradual prohibition of petroleum coke and coal, and decreased output of coal-fired power plants, as the density of fine particulate matter under 25 micrometers in diameter (PM2.5) continues to reach hazardous levels across the nation.
Thirty-two environmental groups held a press conference in Taichung ahead of a parade at the end of this month to protest Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s (TSMC) science park expansion project and emissions from the Taichung Power Plant — the largest coal-fired power plant in the world.
The groups said that the TSMC expansion is predicted to consume 4.8 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity per year, which is equal to 60 percent of the annual electricity used by Taichung residents.
The expansion project would task the power plant to boost its power generation by 11 percent, which would only aggravate local pollution, the groups said.
They demanded the expansion be halted until a health risk assessment has been completed, and that presidential candidates should put forward policies on environmental protection and green development to curb worsening air pollution.
In related news, Green Party-Social Democratic Party Alliance legislative candidate Thomas Chan (詹順貴) yesterday said that the surging PM2.5 levels recently recorded in central and southern Taiwan were a result of a combination of factors.
PM2.5 concentrations have reached purple levels — the most severe level according to the Environmental Protection Administration’s (EPA) four-color categorization — in central and southern areas since Saturday last week.
Chan called on the central government to gradually phase out the burning of petroleum coke and coal to combat air pollution.
The EPA said it is planning to make arrangements with coal-fired power plants nationwide to adjust their power output or schedule an annual overhaul during fall and winter.
Liya Chu (朱如茵), whose parents are New York-based Taiwanese restaurateurs, has been crowned the champion of US television cooking competition MasterChef Junior, after wowing the judges, including celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, with a feast of fusion cuisine. In the finale of the show’s eighth season, broadcast on Thursday, Chu walked away with US$100,000 after serving a spread of spiced duck breast with scallion pancakes and miso eggplant, followed by coconut pandan panna cotta with a passion fruit coulis and sesame tuille. Chu, who was 10 years old at the time of filming three years ago, faced off against then-11-year-old Grayson Price from
A university student has gained the spotlight for an interactive map he designed detailing all of China’s military bases and installations throughout the Indo-Pacific region. Soochow University music student Joseph Wen (溫約瑟), who calls himself an amateur military enthusiast, said he created the map to “help people better understand the cross-strait situation.” Wen originally posted the map online on June 14 last year, but it gained greater attention after he mentioned it during an appearance on a China Television talk show. On the show, Wen said he had gathered information on the locations from publicly available Web sites, as
RISK FACTORS: ‘We hope people can cooperate and endure it ... it is possibly the very important last mile,’ Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung said Taiwan’s COVID-19 restrictions and mask regulations are to remain the same next month, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. The center reported 42,112 new local COVID-19 cases and 85 deaths, saying that the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients has dropped to a new low this month. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the CECC, said that the center is keeping COVID-19 restrictions and mask regulations the same due to the local virus situation, and an increase in the number of imported cases of the new Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 of SARS-CoV-2, among other risk factors. Easing
GLOBAL STRATEGY: Indo-Pacific alliances need reinforcement to prevent Chinese occupation of Taiwan, which would threaten Japan, Hawaii and Australia, Pompeo said The US should officially recognize Taiwan as a free, independent nation and establish official diplomatic ties, former US secretary of state Mike Pompeo told an event at the Hudson Institute in Washington on Friday. Every US president since Harry Truman has considered Taiwan’s existence to be of utmost importance to US national security, Pompeo said. Taiwan is a principal US partner in technology and economic matters, and if China were to capture Taiwan’s semiconductor supply chain, it would severely hamper the US economy, Pompeo said. Should China occupy Taiwan, it would severely weaken US influence in the Indo-Pacific region and its surrounding areas,