A leak of nearly 5,000 liters of wastewater contaminated with oil was reported at a CPC Corp, Taiwan mine in Miaoli County’s Tongsiao Township (通霄) yesterday, the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) said, adding that an investigation was under way to determine how much oil was involved and what area has been affected.
The leak was reported at the state-run oil refiner’s Tiejhen Mountain (鐵砧山) mine, which taps natural gas reserves, EPA Soil and Groundwater Remediation Fund Management Board section head Chen Yi-hsin (陳以新) said.
A pipe broke, leaking wastewater and some light fuel, Chen said.
Photo: Cheng Ming-hsiang, Taipei Times
Locals have reported smelling oil in groundwater since last month, but company personnel did not confirm the reports until greasy and pungent dirt was found in gutters outside the mine after heavy rain on Sunday, the Chinese-language Apple Daily reported yesterday.
The wastewater might contain toluene or other volatile organic compounds, Chen said, adding that it was yet to be confirmed whether groundwater and soil had been polluted.
Miaoli Environmental Protection Bureau officials would visit the mine today or tomorrow to collect samples for testing, with results expected in two or three weeks, he said.
If it is determined that the utility did not report the incident to the bureau within three hours of the leak, as stipulated in Article 28 of the Water Pollution Control Act (水污染防治法), it would face a fine of between NT$10,000 and NT$6 million (US$324 and US$194,616), he said.
Media reports last year said that CPC Corp allegedly concealed a leak of nearly 63,000 liters of gasoline from its oil depot in Penghu County’s Husi Township (湖西) for more than a year.
Another gasoline leak of 3,700 liters was reported later last year at its gas station on Green Island (綠島).
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