The Legislative Yuan adopted an amendment to Article 190-1 of the Criminal Code during the 14th Meeting of the 5th Session of the 9th Term on May 29, 2018. Pursuant to the amendment, as long as pollution is caused by a manufacturer due to its discharge of toxicants, the manufacturer should be punished, and it is not required to reach the extent of endangering public safety.
Under Article 190-1, Paragraph 1 of the Criminal Code before amendment, a person who throws, abandons, drains or releases poisonous substance or any other harmful thing to health to pollute air, soil, rivers, or other bodies of water shall be punished only when such person “endangers public safety.” This amendment deletes “endangers public safety.” In the future, any such polluting act shall be criminally punished, and it does not have to reach the extent of “endangering public safety.” In addition, the amendment also stipulates that a fine of up to NT$10 million may additionally be imposed.
The punishment under Article 190-1, Paragraph 2 of the Criminal Code before amendment was only limited to representatives, supervisors or planners of manufacturers or business premises for polluting business acts. This amendment also additionally stipulates that the representatives, supervisors or planners, agents, employees or other personnel of manufacturers or business premises shall be subject to not only imprisonment of up to seven years but also an additional fine of up to NT$15 million.
In addition, if a polluting act causes any human death, penalties will be imposed in accordance with Article 190-1, Paragraph 3 and Paragraph 4 of the Criminal Code as amended. In addition, the penalties for negligent and attempted offenders are included in Paragraphs 5, 6, 7 and 8 of the same article.