Mon, Jun 15, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Panelmaker slapped with fine for discharging acid

By Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter

The Taoyuan Department of Environmental Protection on Saturday said that it would impose a NT$600,000 fine on Taoyuan-based company JTouch, a touch-panel manufacturer listed on the local bourse, for discharging a highly acidic chemical onto a road.

Taoyuan City Legislator Wang Hao-yu (王浩宇) of Green Party Taiwan — who discovered the violation — said a stream of blue acid seeped from beneath the firm’s gates and pooled in the road in front of it.

He said that his investigation indentified the liquid as a highly acidic etching solution used to dissolve indium tin oxides, with a pH level of 1.1.

He said that the chemical would blister skin if people come into contact with it accidentally.

Although the firm said that it did not deliberately dispose of the acid, attributing the leak to a malfunctioning water pump, Wang said that a former employee, who asked to remain anonymous told him that the company illegally discharged acids at least 10 times over the past year, and that the company’s management often made employees flush acids down a rainwater drainage pipe.

The company could have discharged the solutions to save the costs of processing the waste legally, the source said.

The department said it conducted a surprise inspection of JTouch’s premises and found evidence that a crime had been committed.

The firm was fined because it did not inform the department of the accident within three hours of its occurrence, thereby violating the Water Pollution Control Act (水汙染防治法), inspection personnel said.

The department said that it would conduct more surprise inspections at the facility and could suspend its operations if more violations are found.

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