Sun, Oct 05, 2003 - Page 3 News List

Premier looking for new EPA administrator

JOB OPENING After finally accepting the resignation of Hua Lung-pin, Premier Yu Shyi-kun must now begin the difficult task of finding a suitable and willing replacement

STAFF WRITER

Hau Lung-pin, right, shakes hands with Taipei City Mayor Ma Ying-jeou yesterday at a public event in Taipei. Participation in the ceremony was Hau's last official duty before leaving his post as administrator of the Environmental Protection Administration. Before resigning, Hau was the only ministerial-level official from the pan-blue camp in the administration of President Chen Shui-bian.

PHOTO: SEAN CHAO, TAIPEI TIMES

Premier Yu Shyi-kun yesterday outlined the qualifications for a new chief of the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) after accepting EPA Administrator Hau Lung-pin's (郝龍斌) resignation late Friday.

"I hope to pick a thoughtful, capable and experienced person to replace Administrator Hau to be the head of the Environmental Protection Administration," Yu said while attending the inauguration ceremony of a new highway linking the northeastern county of Ilan to other parts of Taiwan.

Praising Hau as an outstanding leader, Yu said he needed to find an equally qualified person to assume the post left vacant by Hau.

"The new environmental chief must have contributed to Taiwan's environmental protection drive in the past years and have experience, ideas and the capability to carry out the government's environmental protection policies as well as relevant projects," Yu said.

He added that it therefore would take a few more days for him to make a final decision.

EPA Deputy Administrator Chang Chu-an (張祖恩) was appointed as acting administrator starting tomorrow, Hau's first day away from the job.

But Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Chao Yung-ching (趙永清) is viewed by many mediaditsobservers as being the most likely candidate to take over the EPA's top post.

Chao has been active in championing local environmental protection programs for many years. He was also a big advocate of using referendums as a means to form policy -- a area of friction between Hau and his party's agenda.

But Chao denies ever having been contacted by the Presidential Office or the Cabinet on the matter.

Minister without Portfolio Yeh Jiunn-rong (葉俊榮) and the Cabinet Secretary-General Liu Shyh-fang (劉世芳) are other names that have popped up in the media in recent days as possible replacements.

"The premier shall make his decision in a comprehensive manner. It is hard to say right now whether any of the possible candidates identified by the media or the public have been crossed off the premier's wish list," he said.

"This is not to say that anyone had been surely targeted as the favored person to succeed the EPA administrator," Cabinet Spokesman Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) said in reply to reporter's questions about Chao's appointment.

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