Sun, Jun 11, 2017 - Page 1 News List

Protesters urge Yunlin to not extend FPCC permits

By Lin Chia-nan  /  Staff reporter

Environmentalists hold signs in Yunlin County’s Douliou City yesterday, demanding that the county government not renew coal burning permits for Formosa Petrochemical Corp.

Photo: Chan Shih-hung, Taipei Times

People yesterday protested in Yunlin County’s Douliou City (斗六), calling on the county government not to extend permits for Formosa Petrochemical Corp’s (FPCC, 台塑石化) coal-fired power plants.

The Taiwan Healthy Air Action Alliance and other groups marched alongside Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Liu Chien-kuo (劉建國).

They called on the county government to not extend the validity of 12 permits, which expire today.

They also said that the Presidential Office should establish a special committee to deal with air pollution as a national security issue.

Some protesters carried photographs of deceased relatives, saying that air pollution can lead to death.

On Friday, the Yunlin County Government and FPCC signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that said the firm would convert three of its coal-fired power generators into gas-fired facilities by 2025.

Alliance director Yeh Guang-peng (葉光芃) welcomed the move, but said the effectiveness of the MOU is questionable.

The MOU only includes the power plant in Mailiao Township (麥寮), which uses less than 40 percent of the coal used by FPCC’s naphtha cracker in the township, Yeh said in a news release.

The company does not need eight years to replace coal with natural gas, he said, adding that the company should use natural gas in all of its generators by 2020.

Yunlin Environmental Protection Bureau Director Lin Chang Chao (林長造) said the bureau has shortened the permits’ validity from five years to two years and has tightened its review of the application.

The county government’s review process is the strictest in the nation, Lin said, adding that the county could not fight on its own and needs the support of the central government.

Meanwhile, the alliance lamented the death of director Chi Po-lin (齊柏林), who died in a helicopter crash in Hualien yesterday.

It commemorated his efforts to document changes to the nation’s environment.

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