Local farmers living near a large-scale bottled water factory situated on more than 3,000 ping (approximately 10km2) of land in Nantou County’s Puli Township have filed a class-action lawsuit against the company running the factory, accusing it of breaking building laws by building on farmland. The farmers are also suing the company because the three to four-story tall building blocks the sun, which negatively affects harvests. They also say that the building’s four huge ventilation fans make a lot of noise. Last year there was also an issue with toxic wastewater being discharged from the factory. All of these things are taking a toll on the farmers’ lives and livelihood.
The company says that last year it applied for assistance from the Ministry of Economic Affairs for special land zoning rights in an attempt to operate legally. The company says that it will try to come up with ways to improve its impact on the environment in the area and work on being a better neighbor.
The Puli Township Office says that in April 2008 the company was using approximately 200 ping of land zoned for building use and applied for permits to build agricultural facilities, including a mushroom farm and a cistern. In July 2011, however, it was discovered that land was being used in violation of regualtions. The office demanded that the situation be amended to no avail, and reported the violation to the county government. In November that year the county government’s Agriculture Department revoked the company’s agriculture permit and the Economic Affairs Department canceled the company’s building permit in January last year.
Photo: Wang Yang-yu, Liberty Times
The company admits that some of the land and buildings where the factory stands are not legal, adding that two years ago it applied with the ministry to have the land rezoned according to the Factory Management Act to have a chance to operate legally. The company’s request was accepted on May 31 last year, which is when it started receiving assistance from the ministry. While the company is receiving assistance, it is exempt from being fined for violating land restrictions, building management regulations or the act. Usage of part of the land is officially being changed in accordance with relevant land laws, the company says.
The Business Management Section of the Nantou County Government’s Economic Affairs Department says that the ministry will provide assistance to the company until June 2, 2017, and that although the company is exempt from penalties under applicable laws, the application to nominally change its land use must still be made in accordance with the relevant land laws. The company is not allowed to expand its factory, buildings or other facilities on the land, the section says.
Regarding the noise and hot air produced by its four ventilation fans, the company says that it has taken into consideration the farmers’ complaints and shut off electricity, stopped using the fans and plans to get rid of them. The issue with contaminated water last year was said to be caused by a busted oil pipe, and the wastewater leaked when workers were cleaning the floor, the company says, adding that the pollution was not intentional, and that when the factory is operating it does not produce large quantities of polluted water. The company also says that it will look into the situation about the building affecting harvests due to blocking sunlight and try to better understand how harvests and sunlight interact in the summer and winter.
(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)
1. ventilation n.
通風 (tong1 feng1)
例: The ventilation in this room is horrible. You should install an air conditioner.
2. impact n.
影響 (ying2 xiang3)
例: The book had a huge impact on society in the 1940s.
3. exempt v.
免除；豁免 (mian3 chu2; huo4 mian3)
例: Just because you donate money to charities doesn’t mean you are exempt from paying taxes.
Pets are an inseparable part of people’s lives in the modern world. About 65 percent of US households have at least one pet. On a psychological level, pet companionship can bring better psychological wellbeing; on a biological level, our furry friends can boost human immunity. According to a report in Psychology Today, a review carried out by researchers from the UK’s University of Manchester found that the companionship of pets can result in better psychological wellbeing for people with mental health conditions. The diabetes research center of the University of Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital analyzed data from over 3 million people,
A: Hello, I’d like to book a table for two please. For 7 o’clock, if possible. B: Certainly, sir. Let me see if I can fit you in. I’m afraid we’re fully booked at that time, but we do have a space at 8pm. A: No problem, 8pm will be fine. B: Thank you. I‘ve reserved you a table for two for 8pm. Just to let you know, we operate a “bring your own” policy for wine, and corkage is NT$50 per bottle. A: OK. See you later on. A: 你好，我想要訂位，兩個人，方便的話晚上七點。 B: 好的，先生。讓我看看能不能幫您安排座位。不好意思，我們那段時間的訂位滿了，不過晚上八點還有空位。 A: 沒問題，晚上八點可以。 B: 謝謝您。我幫您預約晚上八點，兩個人的座位。另外，提醒您本餐廳關於「自行帶酒」的規定，每瓶酒酌收新台幣五十元開瓶費。 A: 好的。我們晚點見。 （Edward Jones,
Let’s go for a spin in my new set of wheels (5/5)
坐我的新車去兜風吧（五） A: Can you hear a strange noise? B: Now you mention it, I can hear a faint whirring sound. Also, there’s a slight whiff of burnt rubber. A: Uh-oh! I’d better pull over and take a look... OK, sit tight. I’ll pop the hood and take a look at the engine. B: What’s the prognosis? A: I think the fan belt has worn out and caused the engine to overheat. I’d better call a mechanic... A: 你有聽到一種奇怪的噪音嗎？ B: 既然你說了，我確實有聽到微弱的低沉呼呼聲。另外，我還聞到一點點燒焦的橡膠味。 A: 哦哦！我最好停車檢查一下……。好，你坐穩，我要把引擎蓋打開，看看引擎有沒有問題。 B: 你推斷的病情是什麼？ A: 我想應該是風扇的皮帶破損了，導致引擎過熱。我最好打個電話給維修人員……。 （Edward Jones, Taipei Times／台北時報章厚明譯） English 英文: Chinese 中文:
Let’s dine out tonight (3/5) 今晚我們去餐廳吃飯吧（三） A: Hmm. . . I can’t decide what to order. I’m hesitating between a lamb rogan josh or a beef vindaloo. B: Well, let’s order both and share the dishes. We can also order the tandoori king prawns that I was just eyeing up. A: The prawn dish will perfectly complement the bottle of Australian Chardonnay that I’ve brought along. It’s a great wine, with notes of peaches and lemongrass. B: Cool! Let’s also order some butter naan bread and pilau rice for two. A: 嗯……我無法決定要點哪一道菜。我正在猶豫要點喀什米爾羊肉咖哩，還是辛辣香料牛肉咖哩。 B: 啊，那我們兩個都點，然後分著吃吧。我們還可以點一份坦都里香料烤明蝦，我剛剛一直在看這道菜。 A: 這道明蝦應該能完美搭配我帶來的這瓶澳洲夏多內白葡萄酒。這瓶酒真的很棒哦，帶有桃子和檸檬草的香氣。 B: 酷！那我們也點一些奶油烤餅，和兩人份的香料米飯吧。 （Edward Jones, Taipei Times／台北時報章厚明譯） WARNING: Excessive consumption of alcohol can damage