2019/7/18  
Elevated PM2.5 air pollution levels prompt people in Chiayi and Nantou to fight for cleaner air (2017/02/19)
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  • 英文 English 
    Elevated PM2.5 air pollution levels prompt people in Chiayi and Nantou to fight for cleaner air (2017/02/19)

    The arrival of winter in Taiwan brings with it recurring air pollution problems, and warnings for dangerous PM2.5 levels are frequently issued during the colder months of the year. Chiayi City and Puli, Nantou, used to be considered some of the cleanest towns in the country, but according to data, PM2.5 levels in the two towns are more than double the average recommended by the WHO on over two-thirds of year. It has driven residents to assert their own so-called right to breathe; they’re using internet message boards to help rally others around the cause of improving local air quality. Our Sunday special report.

    After getting out of bed each morning, Dr. Yu Shang-ru, the founder of the Chiayi PM2.5 Self-Help Association, immediately goes to the roof of his house to take pictures of the air quality in his home of Chiayi.

    Voice of Dr. Yu Shang-ru
    Chiayi PM2.5 Self-Help Association Founder
    Today’s air quality is quite good, because you can see the mountains from the house and can even spot those three buildings in the distance. There’s another row over there, and off to the side you can see the road and the writing on the shop signs. These are all things I look for in my observations.

    Five years ago, when she had just moved to Taiwan, Dr. Yu Shang-ru’s Japanese wife Yukiko wondered why she couldn’t see the verdant mountains from her home in a location right next to Taiwan’s central mountain range. Her question moved her husband, a native of Chiayi, to think back to when his hometown still had clean air, and ask why it had all changed.

    Dr. Yu Shang-ru
    Chiayi PM2.5 Self-Help Association Founder
    One day when I left home to go to work, I looked to my right and found that, even at such a short distance, I could only see the bottom floors of the department store. I couldn’t even see the top.

    Chiayi isn’t considered overdeveloped, and the city has little in the way of heavy industry, while boasting many green spaces and parks. So why are levels of PM2.5 small particulate matter in the city’s air so high? A wind-current simulation provided by National Chung Hsing University seems to point the finger at Formosa Plastics’ Sixth Naphtha Cracker complex in Yunlin, the Taichung Power Plant, and other big polluters in the region. Taiwan’s central mountain range, which sits to Chiayi’s east, also acts as a barrier which prevents the dispersion of pollutants.

    This EPA official shows off an air quality measurement device, explaining that the official EPA website is updated hourly with new readings from this and other similar devices from around Taiwan. According to data collected by the devices, the average concentration of PM2.5 in Chiayi over the past 10 years was more than twice the average recommended by the WHO, with more than 35 percent of the city’s pollutants coming from outside the region.

    Dr. Yu began to think of a way to help bring attention to the issue of worsening air quality. In February 2014, he set up Taiwan’s first PM2.5 self-help association on social media, in the hope of channeling social pressure to win back the right to breathe clean air.

    Dr. Yu Shang-ru
    Chiayi PM2.5 Self-Help Association Founder
    Our goal is to educate everyone about this PM2.5 problem, to let them know where those problems occur, and to teach them about the potential solutions or possibilities. Everyone needs to breathe, so I think that the problem of air pollution is even more important than food safety.

    An overnight rain shower has cleared the air in Puli Township, Nantou County, and the reduced visibility on this day is just down to mist, rather than a smog of pollutants. Information from the Taiwan Healthy Air Alliance, though, says that Puli sees more than 10 days every winter during which PM2.5 reaches levels high enough to merit the most severe pollution alert possible.

    Chang Shun-chin
    EPA Environmental Monitoring Dept.
    Puli is located in a basin, so the concentration of pollutants there changes very drastically from day to night. Around noon, when the winds are stronger and thermal convection more pronounced, the concentration of pollutants is lower, but come evening, the air cools and that cold air starts to settle in what we call nocturnal drainage winds, which make it easier for pollutants to collect there.

    Chou Yi-hsiung
    Puli Township Chief
    Our small restaurants, hotels, and laundromats use diesel or fuel oil for their furnaces, which is one source of pollution. On holidays, there’s heavy traffic on Lake Road and National Freeway No. 6, and the exhaust from those cars and buses is another major pollution source.

    In protest against the declining air quality in their city, more than a thousand Puli residents once took to the streets, calling upon the government to take the issue of air pollution seriously. Theirs was Taiwan’s first-ever organized anti-air pollution protest.

    Meanwhile, thanks to the ceaseless work of Dr. Yu Shang-ru, Chiayi held the country’s first camp for those interested in learning more about air pollution.

    Taking a breath is easy, but taking a breath of clean air isn’t, especially if you live in some parts of Taiwan. Increasing public awareness of the problem of air pollution is driving more and more people to fight to preserve what they demand is a right to air that’s safe and clean for them and their families.
    中文 Chinese  
    PM2.5非典型城鎮

    台灣進入冬季後,空氣污染是一大環境問題,PM2.5超標的消息時常不絕於耳。而嘉義縣市和南投縣埔里鎮,過去都被認為,是好山好水、適合居住的農村城鎮。不過,根據台灣健康空氣行動聯盟統計,一年當中這兩個地方就有超過2/3的日子,PM2.5超過世界衛生組織(WHO)標準的兩倍以上,這是為什麼呢?當地居民忍無可忍之下,也開始爭取自己的「呼吸權」,透過社群網路平台散播,串聯起更多人關注空氣議題,帶您一起看看,他們怎麼做。

    嘉義PM2.5自救會發起人、同時也具備醫師身分的余尚儒,每天早上起床的第一件事,就是拿著相機到自家屋頂,觀察嘉義空氣的品質。

    [[聲音來源:嘉義PM2.5自救會發起人余尚儒]]
    “今天算是很好了,因為我們家這個位子是可以看山,可以看到遠方那個房子,就是那三棟,比較近的這裡也有一排,再往旁邊可以看到街道,招牌上面會有字,
    這些都是我們觀測的(標的物)”

    五年前,余尚儒的日本籍妻子祐紀子剛嫁到台灣時,感到疑惑:「明明就住在中央山脈下,為什麼不能看到青翠的山巒?」這讓從小在嘉義長大的余尚儒回憶起,印象中家鄉的空氣很清新,現在怎麼不一樣了?

    [[嘉義PM2.5自救會發起人余尚儒]]
    “我那一天就是從這邊出門要上班,開到這裡的時候,因為都要右轉,就往這邊一看,結果發現這邊而已,就這麼近,連那個房子,大概只看到它下面那幾層百貨公司,上面就都看不到了”

    只是沒有工業區,也沒有過度開發,還擁有許多公園綠地的嘉義市,為什麼PM2.5細懸浮微粒的指標會這麼高?根據中興大學提供的風向圖模擬,原因指向雲林六輕和台中火力發電廠等空污大戶,而嘉義因為中央山脈的阻擋,造成擴散條件不良,空氣污染物就容易滯留。

    環保署人員解釋如何操作監測空氣品質的機器,而每隔一小時,環保署網站就會公布監測結果,而根據這些資料顯示,過去10年嘉義市每年PM2.5的平均濃度,都高於世界衛生組織(WHO)的平均值2倍以上,其中有35%的污染物是境外移入。

    余尚儒開始想辦法,讓空氣污染議題引起更多人的共鳴,於是2014年2月,他在社群網站上,成立了全台灣第一個PM2.5的自救會,希望透過公民社會的力量,爭取呼吸權。

    [[嘉義PM2.5自救會發起人余尚儒]]
    “我們的目的是,希望讓大家知道PM2.5這個問題,然後知道哪裡有問題、知道有哪一些的解決方法、或者是說哪些可能性。因為每個人都要呼吸,所以空氣污染的問題,我認為比食品安全更重要”

    一夜大雨,淨化了南投縣埔里鎮的空氣,今天這片霧濛濛,終於是雨霧,而不是空氣污染所造成的霧霾。根據台灣健康空氣行動聯盟的資訊,埔里在冬季PM2.5超過10的「紫爆」日,時常出現,但被群山環抱的埔里,本身沒有污染源,怎麼會沒有好空氣呢?

    [[環保署環資處副處長張順欽]]
    “(埔里是)盆地地形,它日夜污染物的濃度,會有很明顯的變化,在中午前後,風速也比較強,熱對流比較旺盛的時候,污染物的濃度比較低,到晚上,整個大氣冷卻之後,冷空氣開始下沉,就是我們一般講的山風下沉,所以這時候容易形成
    污染物累積的現象”

    [[南投縣埔里鎮鎮長周義雄]]
    “我們的小吃店,包括飯店業者、洗衣業者,燒鍋爐用柴油、用重油,這個都是污染源之一。每逢假日中潭公路、國道六號必塞無疑,這些車輛、大眾運輸系統所排放出來的廢氣,也是污染源之一”

    為了抗議空氣污染,上千位埔里居民曾經走上街頭,道出希望政府正視空污的心聲,也寫下了台灣第一個為「反空污」遊行的紀錄。

    而嘉義在余尚儒醫師的奔走下,也開辦了全國第一次的空污防護講師培訓營。

    吸一口氣不難,但要吸一口沒有污染的空氣,卻不簡單。隨著公民覺醒後,更多人加入維護「呼吸權」的行列,為吸一口乾淨空氣奮戰。
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