The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) finally has a new leader, sort of.
Chang Juu-en (
In promoting Chang to the post, Premier Yu Shyi-kun told a press conference yesterday that Chang is someone who is not only an accomplished academic but also an experienced civil servant.
Chang, a 52-year-old native of Changhwa County, was the associate dean of the College of Engineering at National Cheng Kung University between 1999 and 2001 and executive secretary of the Ministry of Education's environmental protection committee between 1997 and 1998.
He was a professor and chairman of the Department of Environmental Engineering of the National Cheng Kung University between 1994 and 1996. He served as the deputy director general of the EPA between 1989 and 1990.
Previously, Chang was an associate professor of the National Cheng Kung University's Department of Environmental Engineering between 1982 and 1989.
He also holds a Ph. D degree in civil engineering from Japan's Tohoku University. His areas of specialization are solid-waste treatment, wastewater treatment and environmental engineering.
Yu expressed his gratitude to Chang's predecessor. Hau resigned earlier this month because he felt his views on referendums concerning environmental matters were incompatible with those of the Cabinet.
"The contribution he made during his two-year stint will be remembered and highly appreciated," Yu said.
According to Yu, he asked Chang to serve as the EPA's acting head on Oct. 3 when he approved Hau's resignation. Yu also invited Chang over to his Taipei residence on Oct. 6 for a one-hour chat.
"I asked him to give me a couple of weeks to think over the problem. I made up my mind last week and obtained the endorsement of President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) last Thursday during my weekly visit to the Presidential Office," Yu said.
Chang yesterday vowed to push ahead with the policies made during Hau's tenure.
"We didn't come up with the policies overnight. Instead, every single program and initiative is well thought-out and can stand the test of time and public criticism," Chang said.
While Hau quit over his differences he had with the Cabinet, Chang said that the Cabinet and the EPA should get along instead of fighting each other.
"We should let more people participate in the decision-making process, especially when we're doing environmental impact assessment (EIA) studies, because public opinion and professionalism should be compatible and none is superior to the other," Chang said.
Asked about his stance on referendums concerning public development projects -- especially projects which have already passed the EIA stage -- Chang said that the government should take the initiative to offer the public the information it needs.
"We're more than willing to negotiate with the public, listen to their voices and minimize any possible adverse impact any project may have on the community," Chang said.
Yu said that almost all issues at the EPA should be decided by a referendum, except for those areas such as salary, budget, taxation and personnel.
Also exempt from referendums should be those development projects that have been vetoed after the environmental-impact study has been completed, Yu said.
FATAL FIRE: The health department is trying to contact the inspector who visited the site of the illegal nursing home to ask why they did not advise follow-up checks The Taipei City Government yesterday said that a health department inspector last year had visited the site of a long-term care facility in Neihu District (內湖) after receiving a report questioning its status. A fire broke out at the facility on Tuesday afternoon, killing three people. The Taipei Fire Department said that it received a report about a fire on the first floor of a four-story residential building on Kangning Road Sec. 1 at 2:38pm on Tuesday, firefighters arrived at 2:43pm and the fire was put out by 3:07pm. The firefighters found three men in beds and rushed them to hospital for
Taipei City Councilor Wang Hao (王浩) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Monday called for security improvements to the MRT, as fare evasion has increased more than 13-fold on the metropolitan railway system over the past five years. Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) has spoken out against fare evasion and other contraventions of MRT regulations, but since he took office in 2015 the number of contraventions has more than doubled, Wang said, adding that there were 537 cases in 2015 compared with 959 last year. A video was posted to YouTube in June showing people how to evade paying a fare,
FEELING MISUNDERSTOOD: Media speculation has fueled confusion about the KMT’s reasons for skipping a Chinese forum and delaying an AIT meeting, party sources said The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Sunday said that it is not seeking to improve relations with the US or China at the expense of the other, and that its relations with the countries would be topic-based. The party has faced questions over its foreign policy after it on Monday last week announced its withdrawal from the annual Straits Forum and delayed planned talks with the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT). The party has also taken a tough stance on the importation of US meat containing ractopamine, while also lambasting China for increasing its military activity in and around the Taiwan Strait. Following
Yuchi Township (魚池) fishers have appealed to the Nantou County Government for help in dealing with an invasive fish species in Sun Moon Lake (日月潭), where it has devastated the local ecosystem. Fishers at Sun Moon Lake have been using electrofishing in an attempt to eliminate the giant snakehead fish — found in Africa and Southeast Asia — but they have struggled to keep up with the growing population of the species, which breeds during September and October, the county government said on Monday. The county has contacted researchers at National Tsing Hua University, saying it hoped they could come up