Last year 261,656 pollution complaints were filed nationwide, the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) said yesterday, adding that reports of people burning waste in public spaces are also on the rise.
Bureau of Environmental Inspection deputy director-general Lin Tso-hsiang (林左祥) said the agency received 84,949 reports about odors and 83,749 reports about noise, with the two categories accounting for about 64.5 percent of the reports.
Other complaints included 60,328 for poor sanitation, 12,099 for waste pollution, 10,311 for air pollution, 8,499 for water pollution and 1,721 for other forms of pollution, he said.
Among odor pollution reports, the agency received most complaints about burning things like garbage, industrial waste and plant matter, Lin said.
“People caught burning branches or plants can be fined between NT$5,000 and NT$100,000 [US$165 and US$3,311], while firms caught burning industrial items face fines of between NT$100,000 and NT$1 million, according to the Air Pollution Control Act (空氣污染防制法),” he said.
Asked if the reports included complaints about burning joss paper, Lin said the agency did receive some, mostly from local communities near temples, but added that data were not available.
To curb air pollution, the EPA has been promoting reducing the burning of joss paper, setting off fireworks and lighting incense in religious practices.
It also encouraged people to burn joss paper collectively through the help of local bureaus, especially on Ghost Festival (中元節) on Tuesday.
However, some temples did not support the collective burning practice.
In an op-ed published by the Chinese-language Up Media on Saturday, Lin An-le (林安樂), chairman of Wude Temple (武德宮) in Yunlin County’s Beigang Township (北港), said “Burning the offerings like garbage is a humiliation to the gods.”
Lin was one of the organizers who convened about 100 temples to join the “religious carnival” in Taipei on July 23 to protest against a rumored government plan to ban the use of incense.
If the government continues to suppress traditional customs, another march might follow, Lin said.
The government has denied that such a ban was mooted.
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
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
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
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