Formosa Plastics Group (FPG, 台塑集團) yesterday rejected an environmentalist’s claim that its naphtha cracker in Yunlin Couty’s Mailiao Township (麥寮) is responsible for central Taiwan’s high levels of PM2.5 — airborne particles measuring 2.5 micrometers or less.
Citizen of the Earth Foundation deputy executive director Wang Min-ling (王敏玲) said the county’s PM2.5 levels remain high due to pollution from FPG’s plants in Mailiao, while Chiayi City and Tainan are downwind from it, the Chinese-language United Daily News reported on Friday last week.
FPG said Wang’s claim does not match research conducted by the Environmental Protection Administration and professional institutions.
“A recent EPA report showed that less than 5.94 percent of the PM2.5 concentration in Yunlin, Chiayi and Tainan came from our naphtha cracker plants,” a company official, who asked to remain anonymous, told the Taipei Times by telephone.
Other factors, such as overseas pollutants, vehicle emissions and cooking fumes contribute more to PM2.5, he said.
The group said that research commissioned by FPG and reviewed by the administration found that, in 2010, its plants in Mailiao accounted for 0.44 to 2.34 percent of the PM2.5 concentration in Yunlin, Chiayi and Tainan, with higher figures in winter.
“Their figures are too low, as they did not include emissions from the vehicles that they use to transport their products,” a Green Citizens’ Action Alliance official, who declined to be named, told the Taipei Times.
FPG always denies the fact that it is the main polluter in the region, she said, adding: “FPG should do more to cut down pollution, replace old and problematic pipelines and make sure that local residents’ lives matter.”
The EPA on Thursday released a report saying that last year, Yunlin and Chiayi counties, and Tainan were the three areas that recorded the highest PM2.5 concentrations — 25, 24.5 and 23 micrograms per cubic meter respectively, the United Daily News reported.
In related news, FPG on Friday rejected Mailiao residents’ request to raise the compensation it pays them each year from NT$7,200 to NT$16,800 per person, the Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper) reported.
Other townships might also ask for more compensation, said Chen Wen-yang (陳文仰), a deputy director in FPG’s Mailiao management division.
FPG said it pays about NT$334.66 million per year in compensation to Mailiao residents, and has built parks, libraries and public spaces for leisure activities.
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