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Lawmakers demand ASE pay NT$3.7 bil. for dumping

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Four Kaohsiung City councilors yesterday urged the local government to seek NT$3.7 billion in compensation from Advanced Semiconductor Engineering (ASE, 日月光) Inc. for dumping wastewater containing strong acids and heavy metals from its K7 facility in Kaohsiung City into the Hou-chin River.

Kaohsiung councilors Hsiao Yung-ta (蕭永達), Cheng Hsin-chu (鄭新助), Lin Ying-jung (林瑩蓉), Weng Jui-chu (翁瑞珠) said that ASE is a conscienceless company that has been destroying the city, so the government should cease the company's operation immediately.

Hsiao said that ASE not only provided false samples to officials but also intentionally lowered the wages of its employees.

“Kaohsiung City Government spent NT$3.7 billion to cleanse the Hou-chin River, but it is now polluted by the wastewater disposed by ASE,” Hsiao said. “Therefore, the government should seek compensation from the company.”

Lin said that the Nanzih Export Processing Zone (楠梓加工區) is under the Ministry of Economic Affairs, and all the factories located there claimed that they do not have to construct a sewage treatment plant.

“Maybe there are other companies that do what ASE did in the zone, and the local government should start investigating,” said Lin.

Meanwhile, the Legislative Yuan's Finance Committee yesterday passed an extemporaneous motion proposed by Kuomintang Legislator Lu Shiow-yen (盧秀燕) to ask the Ministry of Finance to seek compensation from ACE.

According to the motion, since ACE polluted lands and rivers owned by the country, the government should be active in punishing the company.

Handling ASE Case Rationally: Economic Affairs Minister

Economic Affairs Minister Chang Chia-juch (張家祝) yesterday said that the ministry will not favor ASE on this case, but this case has to be handled rationally and fairly.

Chang said that Taiwan is a democratic country, and any company that illegally disposes of wastewater and pollutes the environment should be punished according to the regulations.

“However, it is necessary to consider the rights that those companies are entitled to,” said Chang. “If there is no regulation stating that a company's subsidies and bonuses are given from the government, people should not suggest doing so to avoid companies from investigating in Taiwan in the future.”

1 Comment
December 12, 2013    kingsolomon@
The water supply that has been used in this area has become toxic. The fruits and vegetables grown in this area are also affected. When the population gets sick, the national health insurance suffers including employee productivity when personnel get sick. The government should wake up and consider the domino effect on the economy.
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Prosecutors and officials from Kaohsiung City's Environmental Protection Bureau visit a farm that may be polluted by wastewater in Kaohsiung, yesterday. Four Kaohsiung City councilors yesterday urged the local government to seek NT$3.7 billion in compensation from Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc. (ASE, 日月光) Inc.

(CNA)

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