Rules to control air pollution from steelmakers in Taichung would be the strictest in Taiwan, the city said on Tuesday.
The latest proposed ordinances marked the third time the Taichung City Government is to bolster environmental regulations for the steel industry, which is the second-biggest contributor to air pollution in its jurisdiction, Taichung Environmental Protection Bureau Director Chen Hung-yi (陳宏益) said in a news release.
The regulations — which Taichung previewed on June 9 — have been submitted to the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) for approval, Chen said, adding that the city aims to promulgate them before the end of the year.
Photo: Chen Chien-chih, Taipei Times
The proposed rules target harmful substances emitted by the steel industry — including dioxin, sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides and particulate matter — by imposing more stringent limits, he said.
The cap on dioxin would be lowered to an average of 0.2 nanograms per cubic meter when measured at 0°C, down from the current limit of 0.4 nanograms, he said.
The rules apply to emissions from sintering plants and electric arc furnaces, which are the main sources of pollution in the steel manufacturing process, he said.
The proposed ordinances include three-year grace periods for steel operations to upgrade equipment before they could be fined for contravening the new standards, he said.
The proposed regulations say that air pollution is to be measured using samples collected monthly from multiple sites, instead of a single measurement at a fixed location, which would avoid penalizing a factory for a single bad reading, he said.
The city government has already activated a program to help steelmakers upgrade their equipment to reduce pollution or transition away from the industry, he said.
Taichung would prioritize enforcing rules for state-owned and large enterprises over privately owned and smaller ones, he said.
The current regulations are working, as the average particulate matter reading in the city this year through Monday was 1.4 micrograms, the lowest in 16 years, Chen said, citing EPA data.
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