By Lin Min-cheng and Jonathan Chin / Staff reporter, with staff writer
Taichung-based Dragon Steel Co on Wednesday defended the environmental record of its local foundry after New Power Party (NPP) Chairwoman Chen Jiau-hua (陳椒華) called the plant a leading polluter.
The steelmaker, and not the coal-fired Taichung Power Plant, should be the main focus of the city’s clean air efforts, Chen told a news conference that she cohosted at the Taichung City Hall with the party’s city council candidates.
Taichung Mayor Lu Shiow-yen (盧秀燕) has repeatedly called for the power plant’s closure, citing public health concerns, but the Dragon Steel foundry in 2020 surpassed the power plant as the city’s largest polluter, she said.
Pollution from the city’s manufacturing sector and three waste incinerators have also increased, demonstrating that Liu’s policies were ineffective in combating air pollution, she said.
Dragon Steel and Feng Hsin Steel Co concurrently occupy the top spots of Taichung’s polluter rankings in all four classes of legally regulated air pollutants, NPP Taichung City Council candidate Fu Chih-hen (傅智恒) said.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) categorizes air pollutants as gaseous pollutants, particulate pollutants, secondary pollutants and hazardous airborne pollutants.
Dragon Steel’s particulate matter output has been larger than that of the power plant for the past two years, which shows that pollution from the steel industry has significant and continuing effects on Taichung’s poor air quality, he said.
A Dragon Steel spokesperson said the foundry has, since it was established in 2009 to present, adhered to EPA guidelines, which called for the utilization of the best available control technology.
The foundry continually upgrades its manufacturing processes to meet revised guidelines and keep energy costs down, they said.
Emissions from the foundry dropped 47 percent last year, they said.
Dragon Steel fully complies with EPA guidelines and the city’s air pollution rules, they added.
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