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Taiwan pig farm closures improved water quality

The Taiwanese Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) has announced that its efforts to force pig farm closures had proven effective in reducing water pollution.

The EPA succeeded in closing over 4,000 pig farms near the five major rivers of Taiwan over the past eight years, said Chang Ting-jing, director of the Bureau of Environmental Inspection of the EPA.

Since January, the inspection bureau had surveyed the area of the removed pig farms 40,887 times, and none of the farms had been re-erected. Many were shown to have become plantations, parking lots, or storage areas.

The efforts proved to be a successful result of part of the “Drinking Water Source Quality Protection Plans” drawn up for the major rivers of Tsengwen, Kaoping, Tamshui, Touchien, and Tachia in 2007. Effluent from pig farms near the rivers heavily polluted the water sources and rendered the water undrinkable.

The EPA's Bureau of Water Quality Protection allotted NT$6.45 billion in 2001 to treat the rivers and part of the money was to be used to compensate farmers who were asked to remove the pig farms they owned.

Chang recommended that pig farms that have yet to close or ask for compensation should do so quickly with the aid of EPA.

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