Thu, Nov 30, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Taipei not to shield sewage dumpers

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

The Taipei City Government would not shield those at fault if evidence proves that the Pali Sewage Treatment Plant (八里污水處理廠) illegally dumped sewage into the ocean, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said yesterday.

A report published yesterday in the Chinese-language Next Magazine said that Hui-Min Environment Tech Corp, commissioned by the Taipei Public Works Department’s Sewerage Systems Office to operate the plant, had illegally dumped sewage more than 700 times over the past three years.

New Taipei City’s Environmental Protection Department earlier this year imposed a NT$1.2 million (US$40,013) fine on the office after Hui-Min was found to have dumped sewage in April.

The report said that the city government might face a fine of nearly NT$5 billion if the pollution is confirmed by prosecutors.

“We can only respond according to the evidence, so what are the facts? We cannot accept saying things like: ‘It is said to be, maybe or probably’ — we have to see the information acquired by prosecutors,” Ko said in response to a media inquiry about the report.

“We will definitely not offer [the office] any protection, but we need to know the facts so we can deal with it,” he added.

Meanwhile, as the city’s “three vertical and three horizontal” bicycle network project is to be completed this year, a budget for bike lanes was not proposed in next year’s budget, leading some to question whether the decision was made out of concern that the construction work would hurt Ko’s re-election chances next year.

Ko said the city is not giving up on the bike lanes and would include it in a project to improve pedestrian space, which is to feature integrated planning of roadside trees, street lights and sidewalk tiling.

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