Kaohsiung City EPB: Re-opening K7 a matter of months
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-02-13 11:43 AM
The Kaohsiung City Environmental Protection Bureau (EPB) has discounted rumors that ASE could gain its approval to resume operations at its K7 plant in Kaohsiung as early as March. The EPB said Wednesday the bureau’s review committee has not yet begun its review of the company’s proposed plan for improving wastewater treatment and disposal, and the prospect of employees returning to work in March is out of the question; EPB Chief Secretary Chang Jui-hui said that even if the review committee approves the plan quickly, it will take at least three months for changes to be made and inspections carried out at K7.

After the Citizens of the Earth Taiwan Foundation (CET) expressed its concern that the Kaohsiung City Government was trying to get ASE back to work by next month, the EPB came forward to stress that everything is being done according to the law.

The EPB says it review committee for ASE’s pollution improvement plan is made up of nine experts. The city is arranging meeting times for the committee and working out when the review will be finalized. If either the committee or ASE has doubts about the proceedings or needs additional information or ideas, it may take even longer for the committee to approve the improvement plan.

ASE claims that discharges from the K7 plant last October 1 were an isolated accident. The company says it has not deliberately discharged untreated effluent and is not responsible for long-term environmental pollution in the area.

ASE notes that its proposed improvements for treatment of effluent at K7 include a central control room, comprehensive real-time monitoring of discharge pools for copper and nickel ions, and close checks of pH values in all collection tanks. It also calls for a real-time alert system and electronic billboards showing the test values of effluent quality to ensure that the process and the information produced is completely transparent. In addition, a water recycling plant with a capacity of 20,000 tons of water will be in operation at K7 by the middle of the year.

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