Taoyuan County’s Environmental Protection Bureau yesterday said it has traced the strongly acidic wastewater it found flowing into the Shetzu River (社子溪) back to a company at Yangmei Township’s (楊梅) Youshih Industrial Park and is seeking punitive measures against the firm.
The bureau said the wastewater was found to come from Fu-Long Metal Industrial Co’s rain water outlet.
Tests revealed that the wastewater was very acidic, with a pH value of 2.2, and inspections inside the factory found that the water was leaking from a broken pipe attached to a storage tank filled with chromic acid.
Because the company did not take emergency response measures to stop the leakage when it began and failed to report the accident to the bureau within the time period stipulated by regulations, the bureau lodged a complaint against Fu-Long Metal for violating the Water Pollution Control Act (水污染防治法), an infraction that carries a minimum fine of NT$240,000.
The bureau inspectors sealed the leaking valve and Fu-Long Metal was asked to repair the pipe and clean up the wastewater within three days or face continuous daily fines and an order to cease all operations if the acid contamination spreads.
The bureau said the electroplating company has had a factory in the industrial park for more than 30 years, with its wastewater normally managed by the park’s sewage treatment system, but since it failed to monitor the system properly and to stop the leakage, the bureau may impose a NT$600,000 fine.
The punishment will be determined after the bureau tests the chemical oxygen demand and heavy metal levels in the wastewater, the bureau added.