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Six factories in Changhua fined over polluted water

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Executives from six electroplating factories in the central county of Changhua were charged Monday with illegally discharging polluted water into irrigation channels.

Changhua prosecutors indicted 10 executives from the six companies for discharging waste water containing copper, nickel and other heavy metals into the irrigation channels, polluting fields and nearby rivers.

Authorities discovered the illegal activity last September before finding in December that not only had the offending companies failed to make improvements, they had taken steps to avoid their new discharge tubes being detected.

The six companies are called Siang He, Yi Sung, Su Chen-hui, Hsin Chuan Fa, Chi Yao and Shan Wang. The firms' official English names were not immediately available.

The Changhua case marked intensifying efforts at cracking down on pollution practices.

The Environmental Protection Administration spent over NT$190 million in 2003 and 2005 restoring more than 900 plots of farmlands that had been polluted by factories in Changhua.

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