Sun, Nov 08, 2015 - Page 4 News List

CPC fuel oil spills into Taipei streets, rivers

By Chen Wei-han  /  Staff reporter

A turtle on a Keelung River bank is covered with oil following a CPC Corp, Taiwan oil spill in this photograph made public by Taipei City Councilor Chien Shu-pei on Friday.

Photo provided by Taipei City Councilor Chien Shu-pei

State-run oil refiner CPC Corp, Taiwan (CPC, 台灣中油) received three separate fines totaling NT$9 million (US$275,351) after an underground pipe ruptured in New Taipei City’s Sijhih District (汐止) on Monday, spilling oil in several rivers.

The pipe, which carries boiler fuel oil, ruptured near Jhongsing Road in Sijhih, covering nearby roads with oil. Several motorcyclists were reportedly injured after slipping on the oil.

The New Taipei City Environmental Protection Department said it has cleaned up 630,000 liters of oil in Tsaolan Creek (草濫溪) and Neikou Creek (內溝溪) so far.

The department said it fined the company NT$3 million on Monday night right after the spill entered Tsaolan Creek. The initial fine was followed by another NT$3 million penalty on Wednesday for the company’s failure to prevent the spill from spreading to Neikou Creek.

The Taipei City Government on Thursday fined the company another NT$3 million after the spill reached the Keelung River.

The city government demanded that the company complete decontamination work today or face further disciplinary action, adding that the city would seek compensation from the company to cover cleaning costs.

As the oil spread to the Keelung River, contaminants were found in various sections of the river in Taipei’s Neihu (內湖), Nangang (南港) and Shilin (士林) districts.

Taipei City Councilor Chien Shu-pei (簡舒培) on Friday gave the media pictures of contaminated areas along the river, showing turtles covered with oil, saying that the spill could threaten the river’s ecosystem and must be taken under control as soon as possible.

CPC Corp said that a magnitude 5.9 earthquake that hit eastern Taiwan early on Monday morning might have caused the fracture, adding that further investigation would be needed to determine the exact cause of the incident.

The tremor had generated a local intensity of 1 in New Taipei City.

Previously, the maximum fine stipulated by the Water Pollution Control Act (水污染防治法) was NT$600,000, which was raised to NT$3 million after a plant operated by Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc (ASE, 日月光半導體) discharged wastewater into the Houjing River in Kaohsiung in 2013.

The Sijhih oil spill is the biggest financial penalty the New Taipei City Government has meted out since the penalty hike.

This story has been viewed 3499 times.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top