Poor air quality recorded in most of western Taiwan

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The air quality in most parts of western Taiwan on Wednesday was generally rated "unhealthy. At noon, the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA)'s Air Quality Index (AQI) flashed an orange warning, indicating unhealthy air for sensitive groups, at 31 monitoring stations in parts of western Taiwan. (Photo courtesy of NOWnews, 2018.4.11)

Taipei, April 4 (CNA) The air quality in most parts of western Taiwan on Wednesday was generally rated “unhealthy,” prompting state-owned Taiwan Power Co. (Taipower) to reduce the output of two coal-fired power plants to cut air pollution emissions.

As of noon, the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA)’s Air Quality Index (AQI) flashed an orange warning, indicating unhealthy air for sensitive groups, at 31 monitoring stations in parts of western Taiwan.

The orange warnings were concentrated in central and southern Taiwan, but three also appeared in the north — in Banqiao in New Taipei, Guanyin in Taoyuan and Hukou in Hsinchu — according to the EPA’s Taiwan Air Quality Monitoring Network.

The air quality was rated as either good or fair in eastern Taiwan and mostly fair in the greater Taipei area, the monitoring data showed.

With the high number of monitoring stations flashing orange alerts in the central and southern parts of the country, Taipower reduced power generation at the coal-fired Taichung Power Plant and Hsinta Power Plant to cut air pollution emissions, according to the EPA.

The EPA’s AQI takes into account ozone, PM2.5 and PM10 particulates, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide and nitric oxide concentrations in the air.

(By Wu Hsin-yun and Evelyn Kao)