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EPA to work with Kaohsiung to inspect Hou-chin factories

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) said yesterday that it would cooperate with Kaohsiung City to conduct a massive inspection of over 100 factories located along the Hou-chin River.

The EPA also praised Kaohsiung City, Tainan City and Taoyuan City for enforcing pollution inspections and ordering the cessation of operations at factories that did not pass the inspections.

A press release issued by the EPA yesterday said that the Kaohsiung City Government's decision to order Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc. (ASE, 日月光) to stop operations at one of its facilities was the right thing to do.

According to the EPA, the Kaohsiung City Government came to the decision by including new evidence that the administration produced.

On the subject of claiming ASE's illegal income, the EPA said that officials from the administration and Kaohsiung City Government will have to conduct more tests on the wastewater-handling equipment and collect more evidence before they can apply to retrieve the illegal income from the company.

However, the EPA said, it does hope that local governments can do everything they can in accordance with regulations to prevent owners of companies that violate regulations from benefitting from the their illegal actions.

The EPA also said that it will work with the Legislative Yuan to revise the Water Pollution Control Act and raise the maximum amount of fines, which is another way to punish business operators who violate regulations besides claiming the illegal income the company made.

According to the EPA, there are still potentially problematic factories located along the Hou-chin River that may have been involved in disposing wastewater illegally, and it is crucial to discover them all.

The EPA said that the administration will work closely with Kaohsiung City Government on executing inspection plans that will target over 100 factories along the river.

Disciplinary Citation to Shut Down K7 Facility Received

The disciplinary citation ordering the shutdown of ASE's K7 facility issued by Kaohsiung City Government's Environmental Protection Bureau arrived at the factory yesterday, according to sources.

Kaohsiung City's Environmental Protection Bureau ordered ASE's K7 facility to be shut down days after unregistered pipes releasing wastewater into the Hou-chin River were discovered.

According to ASE's employees, they worked their shifts regularly yesterday, and the factory's supervisor informed them that part of the production lines will be shut down temporarily.

The supervisor assured the employees that the shut-down will not affect their working rights.

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