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Taichung's DPP, KMT mayoral candidates debate on air pollution

2018/11/13 23:04:10

Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍)

Taipei, Nov. 13 (CNA) The Taichung mayoral candidates from two of the main political parties, the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the Kuomintang (KMT), went at each other in a televised debate Tuesday that centered on the city's battle with air pollution.

Incumbent Taichung Mayor Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍), who is seeking reelection under the DPP flag, said Taichung was the first Taiwanese city to push for reduced power generation of its coal-fired plant in an effort to cut emissions.

Under his leadership, Lin said, the city was also the first to introduce the so-called "71 micrograms per cubic meter" limit, in which the Taichung Power Plant reduces capacity when concentrations of PM2.5 -- fine particulate matter smaller than 2.5 micrometers -- reach 71 micrograms per cubic meter at most of the city's 11 monitoring stations.

According to the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA), level-10 PM2.5 concentrations exceed 71 micrograms per cubic meter and are considered extremely high.

Also, 157 factories in Taichung have since complied with the city's efforts to phase out industrial boilers that use heavy oil, he said.

For her part, KMT Legislator Lu Shiow-yen (盧秀燕) accused Lin of living in denial by looking only at numbers, saying that the city experienced frightening air quality levels just last week, so dangerous that they put local residents at the risk of cancer.

Lu proposed that the city stop sending electricity to northern Taiwan, as part of efforts to reduce emissions.

Using modern technology would make cutting air pollution more effective and the use of renewable energy to replace the electricity produced by thermal power plants could be a better option, she said.

(By Chao Li-yan and Ko Lin)
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