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CY Oversees Kaohsiung City Government’s Handling of Illegal Scrap Metal Factory Case

  • PostDate:2019-12-17

Over the years, citizens in Dialiao District in Kaohsiung City had filed numerous complaints with the municipal government concerning farmland in the district being illegally used by a metal scrap recycling factory. According to the complaints, the plant generated noise pollution as well as emitted rust powder and particulate matter, affecting the health and peace of neighboring residents and reducing their quality of life. Therefore, during one circuit supervision in Kaohsiung by Control Yuan (CY) members, several citizens handed them a petition in the hope that the CY would urge the municipal government to use its powers to act on their complaints in order to improve the district residents’ living environment.

After receiving the petition, the CY immediately sent an official letter to the municipal government asking for clarification of its handling of the matter. In its written response the city government stated that with regard to the air and noise pollution complaints, its Environmental Protection Bureau had conducted non-scheduled inspections as well as had requested the factory to enhance venue management as well as sprinkle more frequently to better control pollution and improve the air quality of the surrounding area. In addition, regarding land-use violations, the city government’s Urban Development Bureau had fined the factory nine times during the period from January 2015 to May 2019, with the fines totaling NT$1.74 million (about US$56,130). And since the violations still continued afterward and no improvement was made, the bureau cut off the factory’s water and electricity supply on May 10, 2019, and carried out forced demolition of the plant on June 24, 2019.

Through the CY’s supervision and monitoring and the municipal government’s active efforts, the air quality has improved and noise pollution has been reduced in the district. The forced demolition of the factory in compliance with the law also redressed residents’ longstanding grievances and safeguarded the public's interests. The CY places great importance on dealing with citizens’ petitions in a timely and effective manner, utilizing its supervisory powers to urge related administrative agencies to actively carry out their duties. Through the exercise of its official powers, the CY fulfills the expectations of protecting human rights and redressing people's grievances.