Tue, Dec 23, 2003 - Page 2 News List

Taipower's plan against coastal erosion criticized


The Taiwan Power Company's (Taipower) idea of supplying sand to Fulung Beach as a solution to coastal erosion problems caused by the construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant is impractical, Public Construction Commission Vice Chairman Kuo Ching-chiang (郭清江) said yesterday.

The erosion is the result of the construction of a wharf built to receive heavy equipment for the power plant in Kungliao, Taipei County. The wharf has been a bone of contention for local residents and environmentalists since 2000, when they started urging the Environmental Protection Admi-nistration to do something about the loss of sand at the beach.

A Cabinet task force investigating coastal erosion near the wharf concluded in April that the loss of sand could be attributed to stress to the environment caused by the wharf's construction. In June, Taipower was ordered to come up with solutions.

In preparation for a meeting to be held today by the Minister of Economic Affairs to evaluate Taipower's proposal, Kuo, legislators, ecologists, residents, environmentalists and officials of related governmental agencies paid a visit to the beach yesterday.

At a public hearing held by Democratic Progressive Party Le-gislator Eugene Jao (趙永清) in Kungliao, Taipower officials said that the only solution was to continuously supply sand, but the idea was met with much criticism.

"It's impractical, because Tai-power might have difficulties in finding abundant sand else-where, and also in continually supplying sand," Kuo said.

Jeng Ming-shiou (鄭明修), a zoologist at Academia Sinica, said it was not only the sand that has disappeared, but also sound ecological systems.

"I don't see vegetation or common aquatic creatures on coastal reefs at the beach. These all are signs of changes of ecological systems," Jeng said.

Taipower's proposal did not comprehensively consider ecological problems, such as the buildup of sand on coral reefs and increasing turbidity of sea water, which will directly affect the survival of fish and clams, he said.

Wu Wen-tung (吳文通), spokesman for the Kungliao-based Yenliao Anti-Nuclear Self-Help Association, said Taipower's proposal lacks professionality and should be trashed.

"The wharf should be scrapped immediately, because we can no longer tolerate the continuous loss of sand," Wu said.

Residents said the government should not promote local tourism by simultaneously praising the beauty of the beach and building a nuclear power plant nearby.

Officials from the Kungliao-based Northeast Coast National Scenic Area Administration Tourism Bureau said environmental deterioration made it more challenging to promote local eco-tourism.

According to Kuo, the Cabinet has said that dismantling half of each of the two breakwaters and having Taipower supply sand to the beach would be a better solution.

"It is disappointing that Tai-power sticks to the simplest way to handle the issue," Kuo said.

The ministry's Commission of National Corporations will evaluate Taipower's plan today and its conclusion will be reviewed by the Cabinet.

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