Quarry Company Prosecuted for Youluo River Pollution


The EPA joined forces with the Hsinchu District Prosecutors Office, the Seventh Special Police Corps, the Hsinchu County Environmental Protection Bureau, and Hsinchu County Police Bureau to crack down on a quarry company for polluting the Youluo River in Hengshan Township of Hsinchu County. After six months of investigation, the company was found in early November to be the culprit that had been polluting the river and commit crimes such as illegal waste dumping and burying.

The Hsinchu District Prosecutors Office received a civilian report that a quarry company located in Hengshan Township of Hsinchu County was illegally dumping soil, rocks and other wastes into the Youluo River. The company’s action has disrupted the natural flow of the river and can potentially harm the property and physical safety of neighboring residents. On 5 May 2020, relevant government agencies conducted a joint on-site investigation and detected a significant amount of construction waste and waste glass fiber powder that was piled up or refilled into the land along the bank of Youluo River. Subsequently, the Hsinchu District Prosecutors Office initiated a joint investigation with the police and the EPA to crack down on this site.

After thorough investigation, the Northern Branch of the Bureau of Environmental Inspection and the Seventh Special Police Corps discovered that while the quarry company was legally registered, it was illegally clearing and disposing of waste for others. It was also making illegal gains by providing land in which random businesses could dump or bury their industrial and construction waste. On 3 November 2020, the Hsinchu District Prosecutors Office and the investigation team found that the quarry company was transporting inorganic sludge containing coagulants off the site via truck for the sludge to be dried. By providing waste storage without approval from competent authorities, the company violated Article 46 of the Waste Disposal Act. In addition, the inorganic sludge found on the site was leaking wastewater into the Youluo River, which could also constitute a violation of Article 46.

The investigation team excavated eight spots in the quarry and discovered construction waste (including waste plastic, wood, bricks and rebar) that had been refilled into the land. The team also broke some concrete blocks in the quarry and found inside pieces of waste printed circuit boards, plastic and glass fiber powder. This revealed illegal treatment of industrial waste in violation of the Waste Disposal Act. Violators of these laws can be subject to imprisonment of up to five years and a fine of up to NT$15 million.

Excerpt from Major Environmental Policies, Dec 2020
Environmental Protection Administration, R.O.C.(Taiwan)
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