Taipei is to designate three transportation hubs and six tourist hotspots as “Phase One Air Quality Management Zones,” with the types of vehicles allowed to enter them restricted, the Taipei Department of Environmental Protection said in a news release yesterday.
Vehicle owners and drivers failing to meet emission standards in those zones would be subject to fines from next year, the agency added.
Starting from Jan. 1 next year, large diesel vehicles would need to be certified and bear the government’s “Premium Self-management Logo,” showing that the vehicle’s emissions are in line with government standards, before they could enter the zones, it said.
Photo: Kuo An-chia, Taipei Times
Scooters failing to undergo the required regular inspections would also lose access to the zones, the agency added.
The air quality management zones would be Taipei City Hall Bus Station, Taipei Bus Station and Nangang Bus Station, as well as Yangmingshan National Park, the National Palace Museum, Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, the National Revolutionary Martyrs’ Shrine and Taipei 101, it said.
Offenders would receive verbal warnings throughout January, but from February they would face fines of NT$500 to NT$2,000, depending on their vehicle type, with a maximum fine of NT$60,000, it added.
Many cities in other countries, such as Berlin, Amsterdam, Stockholm and London, have implemented similar regulations to curb pollution, the agency said, citing London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone as an example.
The agency is introducing the regulations — the first in the nation — as diesel engine exhaust has been classified as being “carcinogenic to humans” by the WHO, Air Quality and Noise Control Division head Yang Mei-hua (楊梅華) said.
Regulations would first target large diesel vehicles, as the amount of fine particulate matter smaller than 2.5 micrometers (PM2.5) that they generate is much higher than other vehicles, Yang said, adding that it is also the reason for targeting major bus stations and sightseeing areas frequented by such vehicles.
Small diesel vehicles would not be included in the regulations, she said, citing lower emissions and the difficulty of enforcement, as inspectors cannot distinguish diesel vehicles from gasoline vehicles.
The new policy is expected to slash PM2.5 by 27.3 tonnes per year, down 4.5 percent from current levels, the agency said.
‘NOT AN INCH’: The president said after incursions by Chinese warplanes that there should be very smooth collaboration between the executive and military branches President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday said that Taiwan would not budge “an inch” on issues of sovereign territory and would stalwartly defend its democratic freedoms. Tsai made the remarks during an inspection of surface-to-air missiles at an air force base in Hualien. She was accompanied by National Security Council (NSC) Secretary-General Wellington Koo (顧立雄), Minister of National Defense Yen De-fa (嚴德發), Chief of the General Staff Huang Shu-kuang (黃曙光) and Republic of China Air Force Commander Hsiung Hou-chi (熊厚基). After attending a briefing, Tsai was given a demonstration of procedures for a missile launch. Tsai granted the base a one-time subsidy to boost troop
RIVERSIDE CAMP: As rescuers continued their search for a missing man, Taipower said that the floodgates at a hydro plant on the Lishi Creek opened due to a malfunction Three people have been confirmed dead and one was missing after being swept away by a flash flood while camping in Nantou County’s Renai Township (仁愛), police said yesterday. Six people from two families were camping near Lishi Creek (栗栖溪) when the riverbanks were suddenly flooded just after 4am, carrying away four of the campers — including two children — who were asleep in their tents, police said. A man who was among those swept away was able to climb ashore and call for help, police said, adding that another man had gone missing in the turmoil at the campsite.
ON THEIR OWN: The KMT has decided not to participate as a party at this year’s forum, and if any members do go, they would not be representing the party, Alicia Wang said The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday announced that it would not send a delegation “as a political party” to this year’s Straits Forum, after a Chinese TV program described the planned visit to the annual meeting as “suing for peace.” The 12th forum is scheduled to open in Xiamen, China, on Saturday. On Tuesday last week, the KMT announced that former legislative speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) would lead the party’s delegation to the forum, with KMT Secretary-General Lee Chien-lung (李乾龍) as deputy head. However, on Thursday last week, China Central Television’s (CCTV) Yangshipin (央視頻) program, hosted by Li Hong (李紅), included a headline
‘NO EQUILIBRIUM’: Taiwan’s increased defense spending is a good step, but it needs to do more to have the ability to deter aggression from China, a senior US official said The US plans to sell as many as seven major weapons systems — including mines, cruise missiles and drones — to Taiwan, four people familiar with the discussions said. Pursuing seven sales at once is a rare departure from years of precedent in which US military sales to Taiwan were spaced out and carefully calibrated to minimize tensions with Beijing. However, US President Donald Trump’s administration has this year become more aggressive with China, and the sales would land as relations between Beijing and Washington are at their lowest point in decades over accusations of spying, lingering trade tensions, disputes about the