The China Post news staff
The New Taipei City government pledged to hit polluters hard by sending 200 environmental protection inspectors to nine major water pollution areas beginning May 1. The move is aimed at finally solving water pollution problems in the Danshui River (淡水河), Xindian River (新店溪) and Dahan River (大漢溪), the city’s Department of Environmental Protection said. The nine pollution hotspots are the Danshui tributaries of Guanyin Keng River (觀音坑溪), Wugu Keng River (五股坑溪) and Deke Keng River (大窠坑溪), drainage in Xindian District’s Zhongzheng Road (新店中正路排水), Zhongyuan drainage (中原排水), Tucheng drainage and Lujiao River (土城排水與鹿角溪), Sansia River (三峽河) and Yingge River (鶯歌溪). Not all pollution hotspots are drainage areas of industrial wastewater, officials pointed out. Some, such as one near a major residential area in Xindian, are polluted by household wastewater.
Around 2,800 factories and major residential neighborhoods under the department’s monitoring produce about 300,000 tons of wastewater daily. About 190 of them were fined between NT$60,000 and NT$600,000 for violating water pollution laws and 68 were ordered to suspended business operations. The department will invite operators of these 2,800 factories and neighborhoods to seminars from March 28 to April 8 to educate them of water pollution regulations and on how to prevent common violations of these rules, department officials said. Starting May 1, education will give way to serious punishment of repeat polluters by about 200 agents from the department searching these areas for violators of water pollution regulations, the official said.