Tue, Oct 30, 2012 - Page 4 News List

EPA tests refute claims of contamination at resort

BY LEE I-CHIA  /  Staff reporter

The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) yesterday said tests showed chromium levels were within safe limits at the Miramar Resort Village at Taitung County’s Shanyuan Beach (杉原沙灘).

The tests were conducted following environmentalists’ claims that soil samples from the resort contained high levels of chromium.

On Wednesday, environmentalists said that the results of tests they had carried out showed that three of seven soil samples collected near the development site contained high levels of chromium — in some cases six times higher than permitted levels.

This led them to suspect that construction materials may have been contaminated, which may pose a risk to public health.

On the same day, Miramar said that soil tests that it had commissioned, conducted by an EPA-authorized lab, had shown levels of heavy metals in the soil were all within safe limits.

In response to questions at a meeting of the Social Welfare and Environmental Hygiene Committee at the legislature yesterday about the alleged soil pollution, EPA Minister Stephen Shen (沈世宏) said the agency’s latest test results showed no contamination.

Later in the afternoon, EPA Environmental Analysis Laboratory director-general Roam Guo-dong (阮國棟) said the administration had asked for the exact locations from which the environmentalists had obtained their samples, and sent inspection teams to collect samples from these locations on Wednesday.

“Five samples from a total of 12 samples collected at the site were sent to the laboratory for testing using two kinds of standard and precise methods in accordance with EPA regulations,” Roam said.

“The results showed the chromium level in the samples to be within safe limits,” he said.

The Miramar Resort Village has more than once been accused of violating the Waste Disposal Act (廢棄物清理法) in the past few years.

A Bureau of Environmental Inspection official said that the company had been reported by the bureau for violating the act seven times since 2006.

It had also been reported for violating water pollution control measures and its Environmental Impact Assessment.

However, the bureau had failed to uncover any violations during the inspection on Wednesday.

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