Following the installation of 100 small air-quality monitors in Taoyuan’s Kuanyin Industrial Park (觀音工業區), two factories are being prosecuted for violating air pollution and waste disposal regulations, Environmental Protection Administration officials said yesterday.
The action is part of the agency’s four-year, NT$200 million (US$6.6 million) plan to install 10,200 small air-quality monitors nationwide, Department of Environmental Monitoring and Information Management Director-General Chang Shuenn-chin (張順欽) told a news conference in Taipei yesterday.
The first 100 monitors, installed on lighting poles in the park, are quick testers for PM2.5 pollutants, volatile organic compounds, temperature and humidity, Chang said.
They can submit data to the agency’s database every three minutes, he said.
While stationary stations indicate the general air quality of a region, the micro monitors’ instant data can narrow down the suspected contamination area, Bureau of Environmental Inspection Northern Branch Director Chuang Hsun-cheng (莊訓城) said.
Inspectors would examine all sources of pollution in the suspected spot, Chuang said, adding that the monitors were installed at the request of residents.
Hua-chen Precision Co and Tai-yi Dyeing Co officials face prison terms of one to five years and fines of NT$200,000 to NT$15 million if found in violation of the Waste Disposal Act (廢棄物清理法) and the Air Pollution Control Act (空氣污染防制法), he said.
Hua-chen had allegedly illegally disposed other companies’ sludge even though it had been asked to stop operations by the Taoyuan Department of Environmental Protection in 2015 and lacked any waste-disposal permits, he said.
Tai-yi, asked to stop operations by the department last year due to its polluting emissions, also secretly resumed its business, he said, adding that the two cases have been forwarded to Taoyuan District Prosecutors’ Office.
Two other companies, Tung-hsin Industry Co and Super Max Engineering Co, face fines of NT$20,000 to NT$200,000 for violating the Air Pollution Control Act, he said.