Tainan, Taiwan’s China Petrochemical Development Corp. (CPDC) on Friday was ordered to pay NT$14.375 million (US$503,187) in compensation to Tainan residents for dioxin contamination caused by its plant in the city’s Annan District.
In 2017, 229 residents living near CPDC’s Anshun plant on Tainan’s northwest coast filed a compensation claim against the company and the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA).
They alleged that CPDC and its state-run predecessor had polluted the local waters with mercury, causing dangerous levels of dioxins in the fish and shrimp that served as one of their main food sources.
On Friday, Tainan District Court ruled that 190 of the claimants had already exceeded the maximum allowable time for making a compensation claim, but ordered CPDC to pay NT$14.375 million to the remaining 39 claimants, amounting to NT$368,590 per person.
The MOEA, meanwhile, was found to have no liability in the case.
Friday’s ruling was the second time CPDC has been ordered to pay compensation for dioxin contamination at the site. In 2018, Taiwan’s Supreme Court ordered the company to pay NT$180 million to more than 300 area residents, following over 10 years of litigation.
Dioxins, a group of chemically-related compounds that are persistent environmental pollutants, are highly toxic and can cause reproductive and developmental problems, damage the immune system, interfere with hormones and also cause cancer, according to the World Health Organization.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel