All ships, commercial aircraft and road vehicles would have to follow stricter rules for fuel from July as part of efforts to reduce sulfur oxides and carcinogenic pollutants to improve air quality, the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) said yesterday.
The combustion of fuel containing sulfur and hydrogen produces sulfur oxides and hydrocarbons, causing air pollution, acid rain and smog, Department of Air Quality Protection and Noise Control Director-General Tsai Meng-yu (蔡孟裕) told a news conference in Taipei.
To curb pollution from land, sea and airborne vehicles, the EPA has tightened regulations on fuel for ships and aircraft, as well as gasoline and diesel for road vehicles, he said.
Photo: Lo Chi, Taipei Times
From July, all ships must use fuel with a sulfur content of less than 0.5 percent, instead of the current 3.5 percent, Tsai said.
Since last year, the Commercial Port Act (商港法) has required the nation’s vessels operating on international routes to use fuel with a sulfur content of less than 0.5 percent, which has reduced sulfur dioxide levels by 29 percent in Keelung and 45 percent in Kaohsiung’s Siaogang District (小港) from 2018, Tsai said.
After the new rule covering all ships goes into effect, it would eliminate an estimated 5,229 tonnes of sulfur dioxide emissions in a year, while sulfur dioxide levels in Keelung and Siaogang are expected to drop a further 9 percent and 16 percent respectively from last year’s levels, he said.
While Taiwan is not a member state of the International Maritime Organization, it is voluntarily observing the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, which helps improve air quality and allows domestic ports to remain competitive globally, he added.
Commercial aircraft would be required to use fuel with no more than 0.2 percent sulfur content, less than the current 0.3 percent limit imposed by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Tsai said, adding that military aircraft are not covered by the EPA’s rule.
The limit for benzene in gasoline is to be reduced from 1 percent to 0.9 percent, while the maximum allowed level of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in diesel would be tightened from 11 percent to 8 percent, Tsai said.
Benzene and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are carcinogens that affect human health and the environment, he said.
By the time the new rules go into effect, all gas stations run by CPC Corp, Taiwan and Formosa Plastics Group are to provide qualified fuel products, the EPA said, urging people not to use fuel from unknown sources.
SPEEDING ELETRIC VEHICLES: Available without license requirements, the low-cost vehicles, especially if illicitly modified, can often reach a dangerous speed The government should crack down on illegal electric bicycles and scooters, the non-profit Consumers’ Foundation said on Friday, citing research on the potentially dangerous speed of the vehicles. Electric bicycles and lightweight electric scooters have gained popularity as they do not require registration and riders do not need licenses, the foundation said, adding that as many as 40 percent of them can reach speeds exceeding the legal limit of 25kph for non-licensed two-wheelers. Some consumers also purchased legal electric vehicles and modified them to reach higher speeds, it said. “If the government does not step up efforts to confiscate these
DIPLOMATIC MOVES: Beijing is reportedly pressing the state after reports of forming links with Taiwan, while the ministry is also planning to reopen its office in Guam soon A representative office is set to open in Somaliland at the end of this month, at the earliest, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday amid reports that Beijing is sending a diplomatic delegation to the east African country. The ministry on July 1 announced that Taiwan and Somaliland would establish representative offices, following a report by the Somaliland Chronicle Web site. It said at the time that the two nations did not plan to establish formal ties. Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi has instructed close confidants to explore the possibility of “mutual recognition between Taiwan and Somaliland,” the Somaliland Chronicle reported
A Belgian man who tested positive for COVID-19 in Taiwan last week is likely to have contracted the disease in Taipei in late June, National Taiwan University (NTU) College of Public Health vice dean Tony Chen (陳秀熙) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Saturday reported that the man, who is in his 20s, came to Taiwan for work on May 3 and tested positive on Wednesday last week as he was about to depart. The man in March reported loss of taste and smell, the center said, adding that he worked in Changhua County, but visited Taipei several times,
NEW ERA: Taiwan, which has controlled its virus outbreak, now faces the challenge of safely resuming economic exchanges with other nations, Chang Shan-chwen said People should not focus entirely on having zero new confirmed COVID-19 cases in Taiwan, but neglect overall control over the disease situation, Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) specialist advisory panel convener Chang Shan-chwen (張上淳) said yesterday. Chang made the remark at a forum in Taipei discussing the steps Taiwan should take in the post-pandemic era, organized by the Chinese-language magazine Global Views Monthly. Chang, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Director-General Chou Jih-haw (周志浩), and Stanford University’s Center for Policy, Outcomes and Prevention director C. Jason Wang (王智弘) each made a presentation, followed by a panel discussion with Chang, Wang and Buddhist Tzu