Yunlin County fines Formosa Plastics for noxious odor.


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1Yunlin County fines Formosa Plastics for noxious odor .
2The Yunlin County government issued a NT$ 1 million -LRB- US$ 31,460 -RRB- fine to the Formosa Plastics Group Wednesday after a massive petrochemical complex allegedly leaked gas that was said to have sickened nearly 100 people .
3The county 's Environmental Protection Bureau also cited the Air Pollution Control Act in ordering a naphtha cracker in the complex to halt operations .
4An odor filled the air on Sept. 9 in Yunlin 's Mailiao Township and neighboring Taisi Township , home to a Formosa Plastics petrochemical complex that comprises over 60 factories .
5Sixty-three students and teachers at five public elementary schools reported dizziness and nausea , according to the county government .
6By the following day , the number of sick had increased to 85 , the government said .
7On Sept. 13 , Taisi Township again reported a strange odor , with 10 elementary school students and teachers seeking treatment .
8`` Luckily , they all recovered after being taken to hospitals for medical treatment , '' a county official at the Department of Education said .
9The Chinese-language China Times cited the bureau as saying its investigation found the Sept. 13 odor was due to botched procedures at a naphtha storage tank numbered T8506 .
10Inspectors detected abnormally high concentrations of propane and sulfur dioxide at the plant , with propane concentrations several times higher than the acceptable level , and sulfur dioxide concentrations of 311 parts per billion , above the allowable maximum of 250 ppb , the report said .
11Bureau Director Lai Tung-hung , however , said the final results of a probe into the cause of the odor and illnesses would not be available for another week .
12Formosa Plastics said that the tank did not contain either of the chemicals in question , adding that gas samples from the factory and areas around the tank also proved normal .
13The company criticized the county for blaming the petrochemical complex for the odor without publicizing the results of its probe .
14`` It 's not fair to issue an accusation without data , '' a spokesman for the enterprise said .
15In July , two fires broke out at the petrochemical complex , causing a great deal of damage to local agricultural production and igniting residents ' anger over long-term air pollution that they said was a result of operations in the complex .