Tue, Jun 12, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Scooter owners decry plan to tighten emission limits

DISCRIMINATORY?The planned ban would not only affect collectors, but also disadvantaged people who rely on two-stroke scooters for transportation

By Lin Chia-nan  /  Staff reporter

Owners of two-stroke scooters yesterday hold placards at a protest outside the Environmental Protection Administration’s offices in Taipei against the administration’s plan to tighten emissions standards for old vehicles.

Photo: Liu Hsin-de, Taipei Times

Owners of two-stroke scooters yesterday protested against the Environmental Protection Administration’s (EPA) plan to tighten emissions standards covering old vehicles, saying that scooter owners from across the nation would rally on Taipei’s Ketagalan Boulevard on Sunday to voice their dissent.

Carbon monoxide makes up 3.13 percent of two-stroke scooter emissions, while two-stroke engines emit hydrocarbons in concentrations of 5,431 parts per million, 20 times as high as four-stroke scooters, EPA data from last year showed.

Protesters do not object to the EPA’s plan to abate air pollution, but it should not target two-stroke scooters, Northern Alliance Against a Ban on Two-Stroke Scooters spokesperson Lo Yi (羅宜) told a news conference held in front of the agency’s entrance in Taipei.

The agency is trying to use Articles 36 and 40 of the Air Pollution Control Act (空氣污染防制法) to justify a ban on two-stroke scooters, he said.

Opponents of a possible ban are not limited to connoisseurs and collectors, but include economically disadvantaged people who rely on scooters for daily transportation and cannot afford new vehicles, he said.

The EPA’s draft amendment to Article 36 would tighten emission standards for vehicles more than 10 years old.

Vehicles that do not comply with new standards would be banned from entering certain air quality regulation zones, as stipulated in the act’s original Article 40.

Lawmakers concluded an initial review of the drafts, are to continue reviewing them in the extraordinary legislative session starting this week.

The EPA is likely to violate the principle of protecting legitimate expectations if it enforces new emission standards, given that vehicle owners were not informed of such changes when they bought the vehicles, he said.

To stop the EPA from tightening emission limits, about 500 scooter owners plan to stage a protest on Ketagalan Boulevard on Sunday, Lo said, adding that they would also hold a contest to select the best-looking two-stroke scooter.

EPA Department of Air Quality Protection and Noise Control senior specialist Chang Nai-jen (張乃仁) received the appeal on behalf of the agency.

As of April, there were about 1 million two-stroke scooters, of which up to 400,000 are so-called “dead” vehicles that are no longer used, he said.

The EPA has been giving subsidies to people to replace old vehicles with new ones, but it will stop offering subsidies by the end of next year, he said, encouraging people to get vehicles that emit less pollution as soon as possible.

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