Mon, Sep 30, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Taipei bureau may penalize Color Run event for pollution

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

The organizers of a fun run could be hit with a Taipei City Council fine for the pollution caused by powders that were showered on the runners of the 5km run in Taipei on Saturday.

The Color Run, held in many cities around the world starting last year, is an un-timed race promoting healthy living, in which participants wear white at the starting line and are splashed with colored powder at each kilometer, ending with runners getting painted with more powders. It is called the ‘Happiest 5K on the Planet’ by its organizer.

Taipei held its first Color Run at Dajia Riverside Park, attracting more than 13,000 participants and releasing about 6 tonnes of colored powder.

However, the city’s Environmental Protection Bureau yesterday said it received reports from the public on Saturday evening of staff workers sweeping the colored powders into the river after the event, and up till yesterday pinkish-purple powder could still be seen floating in waters by the riverside.

After the bureau’s inspection of the park, it said it is considering imposing a fine between NT$30,00 and NT$300,000 on the organizer for violating the Water Pollution Control Act (水污染防治法).

The organizer of the local event explained that it had staff workers use vacuum cleaners to suck up the powders on the ground after the event and that the powders may have been blown into the waters during the event because one of the race sections was close to the river.

Although the organizer claims the powders only contain corn flour dyed with food coloring and do not cause pollution, the bureau said it will continue to investigate the impact of the powders on the river’s ecology.

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