Phillip Morris Korea was fined for discharging waste water from its Yangsan plant. The company that used to be acting for the management of the waste water is currently being investigated by the prosecution.
According to E-Daily on Nov. 4, Phillip Morris Korea is suspected of discharging waste water from its factory in June to a tributary of Yangsan Stream in Yangsan, South Gyeongsang Province.
The city government of Yangsan started to check the scene after receiving a tip from citizens. As a result, it was confirmed to be a discharge of waste water, and the city government imposed an administrative penalty of 40 million won on Phillip Morris Korea. The corresponding fine was reportedly paid recently.
In a separate case, the city government filed a criminal complaint against the "Y" company, which managed the waste water, and the investigation is currently underway.
If water pollutants are emitted from manufacturing facilities, they can be charged with violating the Water Environment Conservation Act. Under the Article 77 of the act, those who leak or throw away certain water pollutants will be sentenced to up to three years in prison or fined 30 million won or less.
"Phillip Morris Korea recently opened a wastewater treatment plant in Yangsan, and it seems that some of the wastewater has been drained with rainwater due to the lack of manipulation," a city official said. "However, we cannot tell the details because the investigation is underway."
"It is true that there has been a leak of waste water," a source at Philip Morris Korea said, adding, "Since the incident, we have been trying to prevent a recurrence through the alarm system."