Environmental groups held a press conference to express concerns about industrial waste disposal and illegal backfills in Pingtung's Fangliao. The group condemned the Pingtung District Prosecutors Office for not pursuing the case.
Aerial footage shows several mounds of gravel in Pingtung's Kailin soil resource field with space bags buried in them. An environmental group says the field is owned and operated by Pingtung County Councilor Liu Miao-song, who is backfilling farmland with an industrial waste mix of coal ash and glass fiber resin. The group says this is 10 times more malicious than the recent illegal blast furnace slag disposal case uncovered in Tainan's Syuejia.
This is 10 times more malicious, and the Environmental Protection Bureau dropped the ball on this one. Prosecutors dropped the ball too.
Environmental groups tested the space bags found on the premises and found the contents contained high levels of copper and numerous other heavy metals. They say Liu is using the waste under the guise of "reuse" products to backfill fish ponds and build barns. However, prosecutors declined to indict Liu.
He was allowed to build the facility but to store waste for backfill. It's very simple. Why aren't prosecutors doing their jobs? We think prosecutors intentionally turned a blind eye to this.
The Council of Agriculture says farmland cannot be backfilled, while the Industrial Development Bureau says this does not comply with regulations. According to the Environmental Protection Administration, tests conducted in 2017 confirmed the space bags were filled with heavy metal- and copper-containing industrial waste, but levels were not over the limit.
The addition of stabilizers and cement during this process possibly keeps detectable levels of harmful substances below the allowable limit during sampling.
The Pingtung Prosecutors Office, meanwhile, says it will provide clarification after it gains a better understanding of the situation. The Pingtung County Environmental Protection Bureau has declined comment. Under current laws, harmful industrial waste must be disposed properly but can be recycled if reprocessed and turned into "reuse" products. The EPA says it will pay more attention to the environmental impact of reuse products in the future.