Tue, May 17, 2016 - Page 5 News List

FEATURE: Temples go ‘green’ to battle pollution

SUBSTITUTE:The Nan Yao Temple is playing firecracker CDs instead of setting off the real thing and requesting worshipers to clap their hands to make smoke-free noise

AFP, TAIPEI

Authorities are banking on a scientific approach to persuade skeptical worshipers to go “green.”

The levels of PM2.5 at last month’s main Matsu festival pilgrimage were posted real-time online by the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA), which sent a dedicated team to follow the celebrations for the first time.

“We hope that with the scientific proof from the on-site data, we can persuade the public to change,” the EPA’s Air Quality Protection and Noise Control Department head Chen Shyan-heng (陳咸亨) said.

The EPA has promised to bring in new restrictions on the amount, location and timings for setting off firecrackers within the next year, after pressure from lawmakers shocked by air pollution at the Matsu celebrations.

Only setting off firecrackers at restricted hours is punishable under a noise control law, with a maximum fine of NT$30,000.

There is no official record of how many religious establishments are adopting “green” approaches.

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