Sat, May 19, 2007 - Page 2 News List

EPA threatens to file suit over `slanderous' remarks

CORPORATE BUDDIES? Robin Winkler, who serves on the Enviromental Impact Assessment Committee, was quoted saying the EPA is too friendly with companies

By Shelley Shan  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) has demanded an immediate explanation from Robin Winkler, a member serving on the EPA's Environmental Impact Assessment Committee, who it said made slanderous remarks against the administration.

The administration asked Winkler to elaborate on his comments quoted in Tuesday's edition of the Chinese-language United Evening News, in which he said the administration had done their best to cooperate with the Executive Yuan and viewed corporations as its partners.

He was quoted as saying that the administration viewed committee members as enemies.

The administration said that Winkler's comment was untrue and damaged its reputation. It vowed to seek legal action if Winkler did not clarify his statement.

In response, Winkler said yesterday he welcomed the chance to meet EPA Minister Chang Kow-lung (張國龍), adding that court action was not necessarily a bad way to take up these issues.

He said he believed, however, that the conflict had been caused by the media, who were exploiting the situation.

He said the EPA's legal committee had repeatedly adopted interpretations disadvantageous to the environment.

"Just as the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Ministry of Transportation and Communications are not neutral in what they stand for, the EPA should not be neutral in executing the Basic Environmental Law (環境基本法)," he said.

He said the EPA often wanted cases pushed through quickly so that its performance would be evaluated favorably by the Executive Yuan.

Tsai Lin-yi (蔡玲儀), a section chief at the EPA's planning division, said the EPA must follow government regulations.

"He wants to be a hero and I am fine with it," she said. "But he really should not attack the administration."

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