Environmental groups yesterday gathered in front of the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) in Taipei to protest the illegal dumping of toxic waste by Young Yang Environmental Industry Corp (永揚環保事業).
The Taiwan Environmental Protection Union (TEPU) and dozens of Tainan residents -provided -photographs to support their claims that Young Yang, located in Dongshan Township (東山), Tainan County, illegally dumped slag and other toxic waste into underground dumps, seriously harming the environment.
The union said massive rainfall brought by Typhoon Fanapi last month exposed the slag and other toxic waste secretly buried by Young Yang. Irregular ground levels also showed the ground contained material that was not originally part of the landscape, the group said.
Residents protested by bringing contaminated fruit and vegetables grown in the area. The protestors also brought with them pieces of what they claimed to be slag that had been buried by Young Yang.
The EPA report showed the site had a pH value of 11.9, which is very close to slag’s pH value of 12, TEPU spokesperson Chen Jiau-hua (陳椒華) said. The demonstrators called for government officials to conduct a full investigation into the matter and analyze the contents to determine which types of toxic waste Young Yang had dumped.
“The EPA should stop dragging its feet and revoke Young Yang’s license to operate,” Chen said.
TEPU and Tainan residents have been fighting against the company’s practices for years. In 2007, they alleged that graft was involved in the government’s decision to approve the landfill project. They said that the environmental impact assessment for the company had been falsified.
In response, the EPA pledged to investigate the matter and issue a punishment if it found that toxic waste was dumped illegally.
However, recent water tests showed that the water quality in the area was safe and up to standard, so the administration assured the residents that in the meantime, they did not need to be concerned.
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