Taipei unveils environmental monitoring vehicle

Taipei--A NT$9 million (US$295,600) multi-functional vehicle for monitoring environmental quality was unveiled in Taipei Thursday in a bid to address the deficiency of monitoring stations in the capital.

The vehicle, which can monitor air and light pollution, as well as noise and radioactivity levels, was presented on "barbecue street," which is located on section 4 of Civic Boulevard and so-named because of the many barbecue shops and restaurants in the area.

Residents have repeatedly complained about air pollution caused by the eateries to the city's Department of Environmental Protection. Even though environmental officials have told shops to improve their smoke ventilation facilities, the pollution levels remain high.

The department said that between 6 p.m. and 11 p.m, the PM2.5, PM10 and carbon monoxide emission levels on the street are 31 percent higher than at other times.

If the concentration levels cannot be reduced, the department said it will impose fines of between NT$100,000 and NT$1 million on violators, in line with Air Pollution Control Act.

Tsai Ling-yi (???), deputy head of the department, said that the city currently has 16 air quality monitoring stations, but the nearest monitoring station to "barbecue street" is located at Raohe Night Market, and does not reflect the air quality situation in smaller areas.

Tsai said the vehicle will not just stay on the street, but will also travel to the Guandu Plain, constructions sites, night markets, temple gatherings, special festivals and other major venues.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel