Environmental groups opposed to the freeway between Suao (
Taiwan Environmental Protection Union Secretary-General, Ho Tsung-hsun (
"Su is the only one of the Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) potential candidates who does not oppose the Suhua freeway project," Ho said.
"That is why we are challenging him to an open debate. We believe that the freeway violates the core values of the DPP, which has promised to protect Taiwan's environment in their party platform," Ho said.
The proposed freeway would make Hualien only a 90-minute car trip from Taipei.
Protesters say, however, that the cost of the freeway outweighs the benefits both in terms of the environmental impact and for the long-term welfare of Hualien residents.
"This freeway will not solve Hualien's problems," said Tsai Chung-yueh (
Tsai has started a petition against the freeway on the Internet.
He has collected more than 23,000 signatures since March 5.
In addition to the Taiwan Environmental Protection Union, the Green Party, the Homemakers' Union and Foundation, the Green Formosa Front, the Society of Wilderness and other groups were also present yesterday.
Green Party Taiwan Sectary-General Pan Han-shen (
"We've already seen how the Hsuehshan Tunnel (
"This will negatively impact the groundwater supplies the people of Hualien rely on," he said.
"If we can take a fraction of the money earmarked for the project and spend it on improving railways we will be able to reduce the trip from Taipei to Hualien to 110 minutes without damaging the mountains and waters of Hualien," he said.
"Reducing automobile travel is also our moral responsibility in the face of global warming," Pan said.
The groups demanded a response from the Executive Yuan within one week's time.
A Taipei veterinarian is urging pet owners to avoid using insecticides around their homes, as their ingredients can be toxic to pets. Commercial-grade insecticides contain pyrethroids — organic compounds similar to natural pyrethrins, pesticides produced by flowers such as chrysanthemums — in quantities that are harmless to humans, but potentially fatal to cats and dogs, Asian Veterinary Specialist Referral Center veterinarian Chua Man-ling (蔡曼琳) said. Even in small quantities, pyrethroids are hazardous to cats, as they lack the metabolic enzymes needed to process them, Chua said. Cockroach sprays and ant traps are especially dangerous to pets as they contain boric acid, she
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