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Environment minister apologizes for poor air quality

2017/12/13 22:10:12

Lee Ying-yuan (李應元)/CNA file photo

Taipei, Dec. 13 (CNA) Lee Ying-yuan (李應元), head of the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA), apologized to environmental groups on Wednesday for what he said was the government's failure to improve the air quality in central and southern Taiwan.

In an interview on Super FM98.5 radio, Lee addressed groups in central and southern Taiwan, which are preparing to take to the streets Dec. 17 in protest against the air quality in those areas.

Lee said he wanted to apologize for the government's inability to properly tackle air pollution problem, which has prompted people to plan street protests despite the chilly weather.

It is a very disrespectful thing that (the government's failure to keep the air clean) has forced the people onto the streets, he said.

Lee also thanked the people whose advocacy in the area of environmental protection led to proposed amendments to the Air Pollution Control Act.

The environment minister has said that he will resign from his post on May 20 if the number of days characterized by red-level pollution, or "unhealthy air quality," does not fall 20 percent by then compared with 2015.

(By Wu Hsin-yun and Kuan-lin Liu)