In an effort to fight air pollution, the Taipei City Government has instituted a ban on open-air burning of fields in the winter, Apple Daily reported. Police will aggressively monitor such burning starting Monday and continuing through the lunar new year.
Individual violators will be fined NT$5,000 to NT$100,000 per offense, according to the Air Pollution Prevention and Control Act. Industrial offenders may be fined between NT$100,000 and NT$1 million per violation.
The city will deploy inspectors and utilize aerial footage to assist in prosecution. Much of the resources will be in northern Taipei in Beitou District, particularly in the Guandu Plain.
Between December and January, rice paddies in the Guandu Plain are usually burned to prepare for the next growing season. The government claims that this process in the winter causes unnecessary air pollution.
The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) says that the number of field burnings in Beitou has decreased from 66 in 2014 to only 13 in 2016. In order to bring the figure to zero, the city has established centralized crop incineration facilities for farmers to bring their agricultural waste. The government will even assist in the transport of agricultural waste to ensure it is disposed of properly.
Taiwan has experienced poor air quality recently, and thousands of residents have protested the government to improve air quality. The government has also called on China to reduce its emissions, which blow across the strait.