Radio Taiwan International
Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) official Tsai Hung-te says the government wants
temples to consider their environmental impact.
Tsai is the head of the EPA’s air quality department. He was speaking Wednesday after a temple in Yunlin County announced the creation of a league for the defense of incense burning. The temple plans to hold a rally in Taipei on July 23 in support of traditional religious practices. The temple says it will protest the blame environmental groups place on temples for air pollution and for what it says is the suppression of traditional culture.
Tsai said that the government respects traditional culture, and that there is no ban on burning incense or paper “spirit money” offered to the gods. He said that the government asks temples to think about the environment as well as the health of temple staff and nearby residents.
He said that temples can reduce their impact on the environment and health by reducing how much incense and paper money they burn. He also said that the EPA is developing a burner for spirit money that reduces the amount of pollutants that are released into the air. [FULL STORY]