TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Formosa Taffeta Co., Ltd. (福懋興業) was fined NT$20 million (US$714,800) and forced to stop production at a factory in Yunlin County after its pollution turned a creek into a “Red Danube,” reports said Thursday (Jan. 7).
After a member of the public reported Wednesday afternoon (Jan. 6) that the Huwei Creek in Douliu had turned red, environmental inspectors took pictures and water samples for analysis, CNA reported.
The investigation took the inspectors 3.5 kilometers upstream where they found polluted water emerging from a Formosa Taffeta factory, the county government said at a news conference Thursday.
The analysis of the material which caused the unusual coloration has not been completed yet, but the pollution was sufficient for the authorities to order an indefinite shutdown and impose a fine. The factory can only start up again after approval by the environmental services, officials said.
Formosa Taffeta’s Yunlin County plant has been fined twice before for pollution, but the latest incident was much larger in scale. In response, the company said an internal investigation had found no evidence of a violation of water pollution laws but that it would nevertheless cooperate with the local authorities.