Despite its reputation for higher PM 2.5 levels, Kaohsiung saw its first November without reaching the red warning level for air pollution, which would indicate hazardous air quality.
The air quality announcement was released by Kaohsiung Environmental Protection Bureau (EPA) acting director Jeremy Wu (吳家安). The daily average PM 2.5 level from 12 monitoring stations in the city has decreased over the past two years between November 1 and December 8 to 27.4 this year, UDN reported.
The EPA attributed the decrease in PM 2.5 air pollution to its initiatives to improve air quality in the area, which includes shutting down the coal power plant during the dry season.
Taiwan, particularly the west coast, is expected to experience increased air pollution Thursday and Friday, according to the national Environmental Protection Administration.
The Kaohsiung City government also stated on Wednesday that it will push China Steel to reduce emissions that contribute to the poor air quality in the city. Taiwan’s largest steelmaker was recently named by Apple Daily as the country’s top source of air pollution, emitting 1.18 million kilograms of PM2.5 and PM10 particulates between June and December 2018. The Kaohsiung-based state-owned company said it has spent NT$67.8 billion (US$2.2 billion) as of 2018 to reduce emissions. China Steel added that it has reduced particulate emissions by 89.69% since 1977.
The day before Kaohsiung announced its improved air quality, the latest Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) was released, ranking Taiwan third to last. It fell three places from the previous to 59th overall, with its climate policy ranking 40th out of 61. The US placed last overall in the CCPI for the first time.