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July 23, 2017

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Kaohsiung city approves ASE resuming work

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Kaohsiung Environmental Protection Bureau (EPB) said yesterday that a plan to resume work proposed by Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc. (ASE, 日月光) would be approved as long as the company fulfills seven conditions in line with the bureau's demands.

Tsai Meng-yu (蔡孟裕), deputy director of Kaohsiung County's Environmental Protection Bureau, said that after ASE finishes the seven tasks and submits a report, the bureau will permit the company to do a test run in its factories after an inspection.

Once the test run, which will not last more than three months, is approved by the bureau, the company will be allowed to resume work, Tsai said.

Kaohsiung City's Environmental Protection Bureau discovered at the end of December 2013 that ASE's K7 facility, located in the Nanzih Export Processing Zone (楠梓加工區), had been disposing of wastewater into the Hou-chin River, the main source of irrigation water for farms in two adjacent districts.

Following that revelation, ASE was forbidden to operate. The EPB reviewed ASE's plan to resume work this January and demanded that the company make several revisions.

After a second review at a meeting attended by experts, the EPB said, an agreement was reached to approve the company's plan to resume work on the condition that ASE carry out seven assignments.

According to the EPB, the assignments call on the K7 facility to dispose of organic wastewater based on the regulated standards, and all measurements of the amount of wastewater should be calculated and recorded.

The EPB also demanded that ASE submit a specific timeline for all the efforts taken as well as publish its monitoring information for the wastewater it disposes.

According to the EPB, ASE should also revise its plan on how to improve water pollution measures so the bureau can conduct its inspection accordingly.

Last December, when asked to provide samples of its plant's effluent, ASE provided officials with fresh water in an attempt to hide their disposal of wastewater into the river.

The bureau fined ASE NT$600,000 for violating the Water Pollution Control Act and ordered the factory to shut down operations.

Company Will Follow EPB Orders: ASE

ASE said that the company will do its best to cooperate with the EPB and follow its orders on the issues regarding environmental protection.

According to ASE, the company has conducted a complete review and fixed the flaws in its management and operating systems, which included human resource, administrative regulations, software and hardware.

ASE added that the K7 facility is now equipped with a monitoring and alert system.

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