EPA cracks down on Color Run-like events
By Ted Chen ,The China PostThe Environmental Protection Administration (EPA, 環保署) yesterday notified city governments to step up monitoring efforts for two upcoming themed marathon events, as well as to hand down appropriate penalties for infractions such as littering and air, water, and noise pollution.
October 18, 2013, 12:05 am TWN
Amid the growing popularity of themed marathon events, the EPA yesterday reiterated its concerns regarding the environmental impacts of activities such as the so-called Color Runs.
The EPA stated that liberal use of corn starch powder dyed in vibrant colors during these events may cause significant impacts to the environment, as residual contaminants may compromise the quality of soil, groundwater and rivers. In addition, the use of high-decibel devices such as PA systems and air horns may violate current laws governing noise pollution.
Due to inadequate contingency measures by organizers, a recent Color Run staged at the Dajia Riverside Park (大佳河濱公園) was suspected to have caused significant environmental damage to the surrounding waters. In light of this development, the Taipei City Government announced yesterday that in the future, similar events will be subject to higher monetary deposits and more severe fines for pollution.
Meanwhile, in an effort to draw up unified guidelines for assessing pollution fines across Taiwan, the EPA indicated that it was preparing to organize a nationwide conference in November. According to the EPA, current pollution guidelines governing large-scale events such as concerts, corporate outings and religious festivals should be expanded to include themed marathon events.
The EPA cautioned marathon organizers that repeated counts of littering and noise, water and soil pollution violations are punishable with fines exceeding several million New Taiwan Dollars. In particular, fines as high as NT$5 million may be leveled for soil pollution infractions, the EPA said.
The EPA stated that in the past, the most severe fines were imposed on highly polluting industrial operations, adding that according to the severity of infractions, the same heavy fines may be applicable to themed marathon events as well.
Incidentally, a recent nighttime marathon event drew the ire of participants, who were exceedingly dissatisfied with the event. Participants stated that at a cost of NT$920, the event was disastrous, lacking in adequate traffic control, while organizers provided no contingency measures in case of rain on the day of the event.