The Supreme Administrative Court yesterday rejected the government’s appeal against a previous ruling on the Central Taiwan Science Park’s Phase 3 development project.
The court ruled that work at the Phase 3 zone in Cising Farm (七星農場) in Taichung County’s Houli Township (后里) must remain suspended, while the original ruling stopping work at the Phase 4 zone in Changhua County’s Erlin Township (二林) was revoked.
In late July, the Taipei High Administrative Court ruled construction work in both zones should be suspended because of the safety risk posed by the projects, which could cause irreparable environmental damage.
The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA), the Central Taiwan Science Park Administration and the National Science Council appealed that decision last month.
Yesterday’s rejection of their appeal means the suspension of the Phase 3 development would remain in place until a new environmental impact assessment (EIA) report is submitted. Whether the suspension of Phase 4 will go ahead will be up to the Taipei High Administrative Court.
The Supreme Administrative Court rejected the appeal on several grounds.
First, it said the development could result in irreparable environmental damage, since the project failed to pass Article 5 of the Environmental Impact Assessment Act (環境影響評估法), which deals with “development activities for which there is concern of adverse impact on the environment.”
Second, the operators failed to submit a health risk assessment report.
Third, the considerable amounts of hazardous wastewater being released at the Cising Farm site posed a danger. The affected area is near Niouchou Creek (牛稠坑溝) to the north of the park and downstream of the Shuang Liao (雙寮) water intake of Da-an Creek (大安溪). Water from this catchment area is used for irrigation and household water consumption, and therefore the release of polluted water in the area constituted a risk to health and safety, the court said.
It also said the chemical toxins in the wastewater were found to pose a considerable threat to the environment and the health of local residents.
Fourth, the suspension of the development would not have an adverse impact on public interests. The interests of the companies themselves constitute private interests.
Fifth, the Taipei High Administrative Court had already annulled the EIA report, therefore the report should be considered revoked.
Environmental Protection Administration Minister Stephen Shen (沈世宏) responded by saying Phase 3 had already passed an EIA, and therefore the court’s rejection of the appeal was immaterial.
The park administration said it was surprised, but added it would carry on with construction of public infrastructure in the Phase 3 area since it had obtained the EPA’s approval to do so.
Park administration director-general Yang Wen-ke (楊文科) said companies with operations in the Phase 3 area would not be affected by yesterday’s ruling.
The nation’s No. 2 LCD panel maker, AU Optronics Corp (友達光電), is one of the biggest firms in the park. It was set to install equipment for its second 8.5-generation plant there later this year, paving the way for the launch of TV panel production next year.
Yang said the park administration has updated assessments of the impact on the environment and health of residents in the area, which also received approval from the EPA.
The agency’s EIA committee gave conditional approval to the Phase 3 development project at the park on Tuesday, saying that although manufacturing activities would be suspended, construction work could continue.
Yang expected the construction work to be resumed in the middle of this month at the earliest.
The Executive Yuan said it would wait until it received a written copy of the ruling to comment.
Also See: Quantifying the non-quantifiable
SAFETY RISK: The government is working to categorize countries based on their COVID-19 cases and prevention efforts, which would determine quarantine periods The government plans to rank countries based on their COVID-19 risks to determine how to treat tourists and other travelers from those nations once Taiwan reopens its borders, but it is still working out the categories, a top health official told lawmakers yesterday. “We would divide countries around the world into several categories. One category would comprise those countries with very few confirmed COVID-19 cases, such as New Zealand and Palau. Travelers from the countries in this category would only need to practice self-health management,” Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) told a Legislative Yuan seminar hosted by
SECURITY CONCERNS: The Telecom Technology Center ran black-box tests for the Executive Yuan on devices and software from Chinese, US and South Korean firms Network devices from several Chinese manufacturers are insecure and allow personal information to be leaked, testing commissioned by the Executive Yuan has shown. A variety of devices and software, including apps, from Chinese, US and South Korean manufacturers that are used by government agencies at the central and local level were subjected to black-box testing — in which the functionality of an application is examined without knowing about its internal structure, an information-security official said yesterday on condition of anonymity. The Telecom Technology Center conducted the tests, which simulated cyberattacks, to determine their resilience to the attacks, the official said. The center
CASH BOOST: Foreign spouses with residency permits are also eligible for the coupons, which can be bought at post offices or linked to digital payment options Stimulus coupons for Taiwanese and foreign spouses with residency permits can be ordered starting on July 1 and can be used from July 15 to Dec. 31, the Executive Yuan said yesterday. Aimed at boosting domestic spending, the coupons worth NT$3,000 (US$100.04) are to cost NT$1,000. “For our consumers, this is a very good deal as they get three times as much value for their money,” Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) told a news conference in Taipei. While the coupons are to have a wide range of uses, including at department stores, restaurants, book stores, night markets, beauty and hair salons, hotels, and to
Beijing is to ease a ban on foreign airlines starting on Monday next week, changing course one day after the administration of US President Donald Trump demanded that China reopen to US airlines or face curbs on its own carriers flying passengers to the US. Foreign airlines excluded from an earlier pact would be able to operate one commercial passenger flight to China per week, the Chinese Civil Aviation Administration said. It did not name any countries or carriers, but the move opens up a chance for US airlines to return for the first time in four months. While the timing might