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Regarding the explosion from LPG tubing breaches at the Formosa Chemicals & Fibre Corporation Haifeng Plant (Third Aromatic Hydrocarbon Plant)

 On April 7, 2019, LPG tubing breaches in the M05 manufacturing process at the Formosa Chemicals & Fibre Corporation Haifeng Plant caused an explosion at 14:04. The explosion was followed by fire and mass generation of black fumes. The Environment Protection Bureau immediately sent an audit team for monitoring, and established an emergency response center.

 A measurement carried out by the Middle Taiwan Regional Technical Team, TCSB, EPA using photo ionization detector (PID) for overall gaseous volatile organic substance and GasAlert M5PID, and the initial conclusion is that toxic chemicals including benzene and 1,2-dichloroethane were not caught in the explosion.

 The Bureau’s responses include (1) collecting five air samples at upwind and leeward sides of the accident site and three air samples at up wind and leeward sides at the Sixth Naphtha Cracker surroundings for an analysis on the potential effect of the pollutants on the environment. (2) A preliminary analysis was performed using the data from the EPA air quality monitoring stations at Mailiao, Taixi and Lunbei, four special industrial zone air quality monitoring stations at Mailiao, Taixi, Lunbei as well as Dacheng, Changhua County, and two industrial zone air quality monitoring vehicles for routine petrochemical monitoring. The data during the accident period showed that the level abnormally high level in some of the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) had no regulatory significance. The Bureau will continue the analysis and comparison of data from said monitoring stations and vehicles. (3) The audit showed the plant has not released sewage. However, soil and water samples were collected from four nearby fish pond sites for testing. Yunlin County Environmental Protection Bureau’s air quality monitoring vehicles will continue the monitoring at Ciaotou Elementary School and Wengang Inspection Office. Four auditor teams of air pollution, water pollution, and toxic chemical environment evaluation and monitoring will be sent on April 8, Monday, for an in-depth auditing of the accident site to clarify the liabilities and obligations, which in turn will facilitate the alleviation of accident risks.

 The release of a significant amount of particular pollutants as black fume into the air as a result of the accident violates Article 32, Paragraph 1 of the Air Pollution Control Act, which incurred a punishment of an NTD 5,000,000 fine and the suspension of operation as required by Article 67 of the Act.

 Yunlin County Environmental Protection Bureau will continue air quality monitoring to ensure public health.

UPDATE:2019-04-29 10:10:00