Tue, Sep 25, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Greater Taichung LNG vendors urge end to huge fines

READY TO EXPLODE:The vendors are threatening to stage a huge protest after a year that has seen many fined over the transport and storage of liquefied gas

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) vendors in Greater Taichung yesterday said they had received huge fines in the past year for extra gas storage and called for the government to stop imposing such heavy fines.

If the government failed to respond, they would consider staging a massive protest on Friday, representatives of the liquefied gas industry from across the country told a press conference organized by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) in Taipei.

For more than a year, vendors in Greater Taichung have been repeatedly fined by the Greater Taichung Government for gas storage in excess of 128kg, or about six gas cylinders, and for illegal parking by gas delivery vehicles, National Federation of Liquefied Gas Fuel Business Associations president Wu Chien-hsun (吳劍勳) said.

While the vendors would all like to be law-abiding citizens, the government has not given them any breathing room because they could not store gas cylinders indoors or outdoors or have their delivery vehicles park on the street for too long, Wu said.

According to Wu, vendors in Greater Taichung received fines of between NT$20,000 and NT$60,000.

Taichung gas vendor Ho Pi-hsiung (何碧雄) said he was fined NT$150,000 last year.

“The government has used the stick [against the vendors] and now it has to come up with carrots,” Lin said.

The vendors urged the government to amend regulations on gas cylinder vehicles’ parking locations and time limits and find open space or underground locations in the city for vendors to store gas cylinders.

They also called for government assistance to the industry.

The 128kg limit is higher than in most countries and it is not likely to be adjusted, National Fire Agency senior executive officer Chang Yu-chung (張裕忠) said.

Urban Planning Division Deputy Director Liao Yao-tung (廖耀東) said that the Construction and Planning Agency would collaborate with local governments on urban zoning regulations so there would be more space for vendors to park delivery vehicles, store and transport liquefied gas.

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