EPA responds to PM 2.5 equipment concerns

TAIPEI (The China Post) – Air pollution has worsened in recent years, to the point that the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) was forced on March 11 to respond to requests of replacing PM 2.5 measurement equipment at the end of last year during a press conference.

According to the Action Coalition for Healthy Air in Taiwan, the equipment bought in 2005 has been in operation until today, even though the agency promised in 2012 to purchase new materials. As of the end of last year, only five stations have been replaced.

The outdated equipment is still unable to provide real-time measurements, meaning that data collection is always delayed, the civil group said, before suggesting that the Control Yuan investigates the issue for the sake of better protecting the health of the public and their rights to know.

The coalition further pointed out that the measurement system from the old equipment usually underestimates data, which often disappear too. Accordingly, the civil group argued that the air quality monitoring this year has been the worst ever.

In response to critics, the EPA said it did not promise to update all equipment at once but stressed that the agency will do its best to speed up the process of renewing such equipment and conduct proper calibration.