BLOWING SMOKE:Officials seeking ‘flexible’ enforcement of air pollution laws were quizzed over their wording. One legislator asked if the EPA had abandoned its principles
Date: May 12, 2015
By: Sean Lin / Staff reporter
A legislative committee session yesterday sputtered into gridlock as legislators
and government officials sparred over legal language in proposed amendments to limit air pollution, prompting several legislators to accuse the authorities of being nonchalant about potential health hazards posed by factory emissions.
The session focused on capping factory-emitted PM2.5 — airborne pollutants measuring less than 2.5 micrometers — identified as a carcinogen by the WHO and the International Agency for Research on Cancer.
An amendment proposed by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Lin Shu-fen (林淑芬) said that if the annual concentrations of air pollutants — ozone, PM10 and PM2.5 — gauged in a municipality exceeds the annual standard stipulated by the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) for three years in a row, that municipality shall be designated a “level 3” air pollution prevention zone, meaning air quality in the region is in breach of emission standards. [FULL STORY]