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Revisions Preannounced to Enhance Management on Control Facilities for Particulate Matter

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Fugitive dust air pollutants account for 63% of total suspended particles (TSPs) in Taiwan. On 3 January, the EPA preannounced the draft revision of Management Regulations for Facilities to Control Fugitive Dust Air Pollution from Stationary Pollution Sources (固定污染源逸散性粒狀污染物空氣污染防制設施管理辦法). It aims to cut down emissions of particulate matter from stationary sources in both private and public premises and, after taking effect, is expected to slash emissions by 1,471 metric tons.

Focuses of the revisions include increasing control ratio for exposed regions and storage sites in Level-3 control zones, as well as requiring the steel smelting and asphalt mixing industries to enhance efficiency of exhaust gas collection and disposal during production processes. Public and private venues with larger particulate matter emissions are not only subject to tightened regulations on automatic car-washing facilities and newly added ones for adopting and voluntarily cleaning adjacent streets, but also are mandated to install surveillance camera systems in areas that store materials, entrances, and exits. Large-scale storage sites with a storage amount reaching a certain level are newly listed as control targets. Meanwhile, road regulatory authorities are to have in place facilities that prevent overflowing of wastewater from dividing islands and sidewalks so as to lower road pollution and traffic-generated airborne dusts. All the measures above are expected to further cut down emissions of fugitive air pollutants from public and private premises by 11.5% (approximately 1,471 metric tons).

The EPA expressed that the TSPs emitted from private and public venues amount to roughly 20,424 metric tons/year. Sixty-three percent (12,812 metric tons/year) are fugitive particulate pollutants from non-piped sources, and approximately 70% of emissions occur in Level-3 control zones. Fugitive pollutants mainly come from material storage sites, exposed regions, vehicle transportation, and open productions. Material storage sites are the largest source of fugitive pollutant emissions among them.

As a result, the revisions have particularly targeted public and private venues within Level 3 control zones, requiring them to raising the percentage of control equipment, such as sprinklers or covers, within their material storage sites from 80% to 90%. Percentage for controls for exposed regions within all control zones are to increase from 80% to 100%, which together with the previous mandate is expected to slash emissions of fugitive particulate pollutants by 1,266 metric tons/year. Additionally, large emitters like steel smelting and asphalt mixing industries as well as odor sources within major productions are mandated to improve collection efficiency of their air pollution control facilities so that efficiency can reach at least 60% for collecting production-generated fugitive exhaust gases. This will certainly lead to lower emissions of particulate pollutants as well as the public’s complaints about odors, all expected to cut down fugitive particulate pollutants by 205 metric tons/year.

The revisions have assigned public and private venues responsibilities to monitor operations of control facilities so as to improve abnormal emissions of fugitive particulate pollutants due to poor operations of control facilities on these premises. Large pollution sources are to install video surveillance systems at entrances, exits, and material storage sites within public and private premises to ensure proper handling and operations of air pollution control facilities.

Moreover, the revisions have in particular strengthened regulations regarding cleaning facilities for large pollution sources’ transporting vehicles in order to lower airborne road dusts. Besides replacing all basin-type car wash stations to bump-type ones, major sources are to take up responsibilities to voluntarily clean up adjacent roads within public and private venues to better clean up their vehicles and also enhance quality of surrounding roads. As for dividing islands and sidewalks on public roads, road regulatory authorities are to prevent overflowing of wastewater by examining the depth of soil covering or planting vegetation. Last but not least, adjustments have been made regarding control targets within port areas according to the Commercial Port Law (商港法). If properly carried out, all the measures above are expected to effectively reduce emissions of fugitive particulate pollutants, improve the quality of roads around public and private venues, and even enhance corporate images by providing better work environments for staff and operators.

Regulations are scheduled to take effect in a year per the amendments. A period of three years will be provided for items that need a longer time to improve, such as dividing islands and exhaust gas collection facilities.

Excerpt from Major Environmental Policies, January 2023

Ministry of Environment