Thu, Feb 21, 2019 - Page 4 News List

Han’s complaint sparks city plan to curb air pollution

By Chen Wen-chan and Sherry Hsiao  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Smoke rises from chimneys at CPC Corp, Taiwan’s Dalin refinery in Kaohsiung’s Siaogang District in an undated photograph.

Photo copied by Chen Wen-chan, Taipei Times

The Kaohsiung Environmental Protection Bureau has proposed a three-point plan for tackling air pollution after Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) said he was surprised by the pollution levels he witnessed while surveying the Love River (愛河) via helicopter on Wednesday last week.

First, a task force led by experts and academics would be set up to inspect air pollution control equipment at steel and petrochemical factories inside Linhai Industrial Park (臨海工業區), helping owners with upgrades and heat recovery, the bureau said.

Second, stricter standards would be introduced to lower emissions of air pollutants at electrical facilities, the bureau said.

The 25 worst air polluters would be required to cut emissions by half, it said, adding that the new regulation, which would be implemented in two phases, should reduce annual consumption of bituminous coal by more than 2.5 million tonnes, and emissions of sulfur oxide and nitrogen oxide by 2,800 tonnes and 4,700 tonnes respectively.

Third, legislation would be drafted requiring factories to use low-sulfur fuel, which would reduce sulfur oxide emissions by about 40 percent, the bureau said, adding that is it likely to be implemented in October.

The project would be carried out over three years, it added.

Bureau Director Yuan Chung-shin (袁中新) on Thursday last week spent the night in Dalinpu Village (大林蒲), near industrial park, to speak with environmental protection groups and residents.

The groups singled out China Steel Corp for allegedly storing coal ash out in the open and releasing pollutants into the air.They asked the bureau to urge the company to move the storage site indoors.

The bureau said China Steel would move its sintered ore storage indoors by the end of the year and is working on a schedule for replacing its wet quenching tower with a dry quenching facility.

It has already asked the company to speed up its schedule for the transformation, the bureau said.

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