Taipower’s coal-fired Taichung power plant has faced government pressure to reduce pollution. Following a complaint by Nantou Magistrate Lin Ming-chen (林明溱) over air pollution, Taichung Environmental Protection Bureau will give Taipower 75 days to reduce wastewater pollution as well.
On April 17, Taipower was fined NT$20 million (US$647,005) for excessive nitrate (NO3) levels in wastewater, the highest ever fine for a state-owned company. The levels were tested three times between January and March this year. The company had 30 days to submit a plan to rectify the situation.
The power plant submitted an improvement plan to the Taichung bureau on April 30, and the bureau is expected to respond by May 10, UDN reported. After approval of the plan, the Taichung power plant will have 75 days to make the improvements and reduce the nitrate levels by 50%.
The improvement plan may be adjusted as Taipower needs to upgrade its wastewater equipment to maintain long-term environmental goals. The company will also improve and upgrade 10 air pollution prevention facilities and establish an indoor coal storage warehouse. The company added that it will build two natural gas powered generators in an effort to further reduce air pollution.
Magistrate Lin previously called on Taipower to reduce PM2.5, which he blamed primarily on the coal-fired power plant. Taichung Mayor Lu Shiow-yen (盧秀燕) voiced her support for Lin, stating that the city may consider a lawsuit against Taipower over the persistent poor air quality.