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Taiwan's Formosa hit with hefty pollution fine

TAIPEI, May 4, 2011 (AFP) - Taiwan's leading conglomerate Formosa Plastics was slapped with a fine of Tw$80 million ($2.7 million) for soil and water pollution, environmental authorities said Wednesday.

The company was fined for making "improper gains" from polluting soil and underground water at a plant in Kaohsiung county in the south of the island, said the cabinet-level Environmental Protection Administration.

It was the biggest pollution fine ever imposed on Formosa Plastics, an environmental official said. The company can appeal the fine.

Formosa is one of Taiwan's largest industrial conglomerates with investments in plastics, petrochemicals, semiconductors and bio-medical products.

Taiwan's government last month slammed the brakes on a controversial $20 billion petrochemical project by another company due to mounting environmental concerns.

Activists insist that Taiwan, long plagued by industrial pollution, can no longer afford large energy-guzzling projects and staged a string of mass street protests against the proposal.

MySinchew 2011.05.04



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