Wed, Oct 25, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Man says waste dumping contaminating reservoir

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER

A retired employee of a water resources office yesterday accused the government of turning a blind eye to the dumping of dirt and debris into the Shihmen Reservoir's watershed, saying the waste could contain dioxins that may have contaminated the dam's water quality.

"Government officials are the primary culprits in the deterioration of the water quality of Shihmen Reservoir," said Chen Chuan-cheng (陳川成), who used to work as a secretary for the Northern Region Water Resources Office under the Water Resource Agency.

Chen said he applied for early retirement on Aug. 1 because of frustration over his superiors' passive response to his petitions.

"The volume of dirt and debris [dumped into the watershed] has reached 450 cubic meters ... We suspect that they were were dumped by a contractor in charge of the remediation project of Shihmen Reservoir," Chen said in a press conference held by Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Tien Chiu-chin (田秋堇).

"The contractor seems to have dumped debris from incinerators. Once the waste is washed down when it rains, the dioxins could harm millions of people," Chen said.

Chen said that the contractor also used the dirt and debris dumped in the area as materials to rebuild the embankment.

Chen said he had reported the case to the local police on Oct. 13, and has been threatened by crime syndicates.

Wang Mei-wen (王美文), an official with Northern Region Water Resources Office, said in the press conference that the agency would report on its findings on the case within one month.

"From the initial sample, the waste might have come from the sludge of incinerators. While the sludge is reusable, it is inappropriate to put it in the watershed," Wang said.

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