Wed, Dec 25, 2013 - Page 11 News List

Government turns blind eye to landfill pollution: farmers
垃圾場污染 農民批官府不聞不問

A local farmer points to an abandoned landfill in Yunlin County’s Douliou City on Dec. 17.
一名在地農民十二月十七日於雲林縣斗六市指著廢棄的掩埋場。

Photo: Huang Shu-li, Liberty Times
照片:自由時報記者黃淑莉

The retaining wall of the Jingmei Landfill in Yunlin County’s Douliou City is apparently cracked and toppling over and a busted aquiclude layer is causing wastewater leakage, allegedly contaminating several hectares of farmland while local agricultural products wither away from the pollution. Local farmers are lambasting government agencies for not showing enough concern about their livelihood. The Yunlin County Government’s Environmental Protection Bureau says that it is trying to procure funding to make the necessary improvements.

Located next to the Bade Public Cemetery in Douliou City, the Jingmei Landfill was issued a permit to operate in 2006, but from the time it began operations in 2005 until it shut down in 2009, incidents of farmland being polluted were incessant, and nothing came of several conciliation attempts between local farmers and the landfill’s operator before it eventually shut down. The farmers had assumed that the pollution plaguing their farmland would cease after the shutdown. Instead, it has increased and they have no way to seek compensation.

Lin Heng-te, a farmer whose farmland is adjacent to the landfill, says that after the landfill was built water from his well began turning red with unidentifiable bubbles in it. He was forced to build a new well farther away from the landfill. The paddy that he grows, however, has been contaminated by wastewater from the landfill on a number of occasions, forcing him to throw it out after harvesting.

Lin, with desperation in his voice, says that several years ago a storm caused the landfill’s retaining wall to topple over, crack and start leaking fetid wastewater that looks like soy sauce. In areas where the wastewater runs all of the grass has died and the apple snails (ampullariidae) perish, Lin says, asking how farmland in such a state could possibly be farmed. The agencies in charge have allegedly turned a deaf ear to these problems, so with no other alternative Lin simply decided to sell the land, he says.

TODAY’S WORDS 今日單字

1. turn a blind eye idiom

不聞不問;視而不見 (bu4 wen2 bu2 wen4; shi4 er2 bu2 jian4)

例: While the Netherlands turned a blind eye to small-scale retail sales of marijuana for years, Uruguay is the first UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs signatory to legalize the drug.

(雖荷蘭幾年來對小規模的大麻販售視而不見,但第一個簽署聯合國《麻醉品單一公約》合法化該毒品的國家是烏拉圭。)

2. lambast v.

痛斥;嚴責 (tong4 chi4; yan2 ze2)

例: Animal rights activists have lambasted the cat and dog meat trade in China.

(動物權益倡議者痛斥中國貓狗肉交易。)

3. expropriate v.

徵收;徵用 (zheng1 shou1; zheng1 yong4)

例: The defense ministry is expropriating the farmland to build a new administrative and training facility.

(國防部將徵收該農地建造行政和訓練設施。)


Another farmer named Chang Kuan-chi, who also has farmland next to the landfill, says that he originally grew oranges on his farm, but after the landfill was set up all of the oranges died and turned black. He removed the orange trees and started growing bananas instead. Over the past three years, however, the bananas have kept dying too and have almost never produced a successful harvest.

In response to the toppling retaining wall and water seepage issues, the bureau says that it made plans last year to fix the problems, but farmers would not accept compensation for their land and instead demanded that the entire area be expropriated. Plans to use a waterproof canvas to cover the landfill and a gutter-digging project are underway, but the bureau is still trying to obtain the necessary funding.

(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)

封場多年的璟美垃圾掩埋場驚傳擋土牆龜裂、傾斜,不透水層破裂導致廢水滲漏,污染鄰近數公頃農地,農作物疑遭污染枯死,農民痛斥相關單位不管農民死活;雲林環保局表示將爭取經費補強。

位在斗六市八德公墓旁的璟美垃圾掩埋場於二○○六年取得處理許可證,但從二○○五至○九年封場前,不斷傳出農地遭污染事件,農民封場前多次與業者調解未果,封場後以為可擺脫污染夢魘,沒想到污染有增無減,且求償無門。

附近農民林恆德指出,農田緊鄰掩埋場,掩埋場設置後,地下水井抽出的水變成紅色、且有不明泡沫,他只好到離掩埋場有段距離的地方再鑿井,種植水稻則多次因遭掩埋場廢水污染,收割後只能丟棄。

他無奈地說,掩埋場擋土牆多年前因風災傾倒、龜裂,滲漏出的廢水顏色像醬油,還有刺鼻臭味,廢水流經的地方,連草都枯死、福壽螺也無法生存,這樣的農地怎麼栽種?相關單位據稱不聞不問,林恆德無計可施下,乾脆把農地賣了。

另一位農民張寬祺表示,緊鄰掩埋場的農地本來種植柳丁,掩埋場設置後,柳丁樹枯死、柳丁發黑,砍除後改種香蕉,三年來香蕉樹陸續枯死,幾乎沒收成。

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