To review the locations for setting up the traffic air-quality monitoring stations in Taichung City, the Environmental Protection Bureau (EPB) of Taichung City Government held a meeting last week. Officials from the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) and the relevant units in Taichung City Government, experts and scholars, and environmental groups were invited to exchange ideas and opinions. The EPB vows to set up 3 traffic air-quality monitoring stations before the end of 2016.
Chen Zhong-yi (陳忠義), Senior Technical Specialist of the EPB, said that air-quality at rush hours and off-peak hours would be monitored and compared and that if the Taichung Audit Office approves the budget, the EPB will use the air pollution fund to set up mobile traffic air-quality monitoring stations in 2015.
Currently, there are 17 automatic air-quality monitoring stations in Taichung City (including 5 stations set up by the EPA, 6 set up the EPB, 5 by Taipower, and 1 in Central Taiwan Science Park), but there is still no traffic air-quality monitoring station within the jurisdiction of Taichung City. Among the six special municipalities, Taichung and Tainan are the only two cities without traffic air-quality monitoring stations.
Senior Technical Specialist Chen said, “The EPB has already put aside an annual budget of NT$ 30 million in 2016 to set up fixed traffic air-quality monitoring stations. In addition, the EPA has also promised verbally to subsidize the establishment of monitoring stations in those cities and counties without such facilities. All in all, our target is to set up3 traffic air-quality monitoring stations, including 1 mobile station, in Taichung before the end of 2016.”
In the review meeting held last week, the Maple Foot Cultural Association (楓樹腳文化協會) said that the follow-up improvement measures were even more important than the collection of air-quality monitoring data. The EPB replied that collection of actual data was only the first step but the data would be used to remind and push the relevant units to take improvement actions.
Homemaker's Union and Foundation (主婦聯盟) suggested that traffic air-quality monitoring stations be set up at locations with heavy traffic flows, the Tunghai area and the industrial parks. The EPB replied that Qingshui District had been previously assessed but disqualified because of insufficient traffic flows and the intersection between Taiwan Boulevard and Wenxin Road had not been included due to land acquisition problem. However, the EPB will consider the locations near Taiwan Boulevard recommended by the Homemaker's Union and Foundation, when selecting sites for the traffic air-quality monitoring stations in the future.