The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) yesterday said it took action on Thursday night to halt the illegal dumping of industrial waste in Hsinchu County’s Beipu Township (北埔).
The EPA said that following a four-month-long investigation, the Taichung District Prosecutors’ Office and the Environmental Protection Police Corp moved against a waste treatment company, registered in Hsinchu County’s Hsinfeng Township (新豐), for repeatedly dumping industrial sludge on land in Beipu.
Nine large towing vehicles and two excavators were impounded and 29 people arrested, the EPA said.
It added that the drivers of the nine vehicles have all admitted that the waste sludge came from the company and was to be dumped into a hole on the unused land, and later covered with soil.
Bureau of Environmental Inspection Inspector General Chen Shyan-heng (陳咸亨) said the company was registered to treat general industrial waste sludge after appropriate procedures had been implemented, making it into soil amendment for example, but the company had failed to do so.
By illegally dumping untreated industrial waste sludge into the environment, the company had violated the Air Pollution Control Act (空氣污染防治法), the Water Pollution Control Act (水污染防治法) and the Waste Disposal Act (廢棄物清理法), the agency said.
Chen said the EPA is still investigating the site to ascertain the size and depth of the illegal dumping area, as well as whether any hazardous substances were contained in the waste sludge.
An initial report is scheduled to be completed in about two weeks, he said.
In addition to penalties imposed by the EPA, Chen said the company owner will also face criminal charges and is under investigation by the prosecutors office.