Air quality in Taichung is better than ever! Through the efforts of all parties in recent years, Taichung City’s PM2.5 index now meets the national standard. According to Taiwan Environmental Protection Administration data, the annual PM2.5 concentration during the past year (2022) was 12.7 μg/m3, better than that of 2018. The annual average ground-level ozone (O3) was 27.1 ppb last year, demonstrating a decrease of 3.6 ppb from 30.7 ppb in 2018. In addition, last year saw 11 poor air-quality days, which is 49 less days than 2018’s 60 days. In terms of visibility, the number of days with visibility greater than 15 kilometers last year reached 184 days, representing about a four-time increase of 136 days compared with 48 similar days in 2018.
To do a good job, an artisan needs the best tools. Taichung City Government uses innovative technology to monitor various pollution sources and has achieved excellent results. The implementation of Factory Pollutant Emission Detection through Cloud Computing Intelligent Image Identification by Taichung City Government won the 2021 Innovation Application Award, with Taichung having the only environmental protection government agency to win such an award in that year. In addition, the Taichung City Air Quality Internet of Things Development, Operation and Maintenance Project has earned the SMART50 and Asia-Pacific Sustainability Action Awards (APSAA), Taiwan Sustainability Action Award (TSAA) and Cloud Internet of Things Innovation Award.
Taichung’s application of an AI recognition system to detect highly polluting scooters has also been recognized with SMART50, Asia-Pacific Sustainability Action Silver and Taiwan Sustainability Action Bronze awards. Targeting emissions sources, Taichung City Government has developed a mapping system for open-air burning hazards and uses drones and AI image recognition to provide instant notification of open-air burning. Use of an innovative water line and sprinkling system with real-time notification has also cut blowing dust from dry river banks over the past eight years.