Taipei, March 30 (CNA) The Cabinet on Thursday approved a draft law amendment to the Marine Pollution Control Act that will raise fines significantly for certain types of violations if passed by the Legislature.
The draft amendment proposed by the Ocean Affairs Council will increase fines from the current NT$300,000 (US$9,840)-NT$1.5 million to NT$1 million -NT$100 million for those illegally engaged in oil conveyance, marine construction projects, marine dumping, or other activities that cause marine pollution.
The proposed revisions also increase the fines for companies that received approval from the central government to engage in such activities but fail to assist in the handling of an emergency pollution incident, from NT$100,000- NT$500,000 to NT$500,000-NT$50 million.
In addition, the revisions increase the maximum fine of NT$1.5 million to NT$30 million for those who violate relevant marine disposal procedures or licensing regulations, or those who engage in marine dumping in zones other than those designated by the central government.
The proposed amendment also stipulates that those who use ships to dump waste water, waste, oil and other substances and items in the ocean face fines ranging from NT$30,000 to NT$30 million.
In addition, the draft specifies that licensed marine dumpers, oil tanker transport services and importers of specified substances designated in the law, as well as operators of marine projects and marine facilities of a certain scale, will be charged marine pollution prevention and control fees, which will be used to establish an ocean pollution prevention and control fund.
In addition, the draft includes a whistleblower clause to encourage the reporting of illegal activities. Monetary awards will be provided to whistleblowers who provide information that leads to a successful enforcement action.
The proposed amendments will be sent to the Legislative Yuan for review, Cabinet spokesman Lo Ping-cheng (羅秉成) said.