Mon, May 21, 2007 - Page 2 News List

Environmentalists want stronger green policies

By Shelley Shan  /  STAFF REPORTER

With the appointment of the new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) minister still pending, the nation's environmentalists have expressed different opinions.

Saying that a new minister may be chosen with one eye on next year's presidential election, Green Formosa Front secretary-general Wu Tung-jye (吳東傑) yesterday hoped the change would enable the agency to stand on its own two feet, instead of being just an endorser of projects handed down by the Ministry of Economic Affairs.

Specifically, Wu urged the EPA to quickly resolve controversies surrounding several development projects, including the Suhua Freeway and the Formosa Group's steel plant.


"To a certain extent, Chang Kow-lung [張國龍] was a guardian of one of the core values of the Democratic Progressive Party [DPP] -- dedication to `green issues.' Replacing him means that the party has not been faithful to this core value," Wu said.

EPA minister Chang Kwo-lung officially resigned along with other Cabinet officials last Wednesday after serving at the position for approximately two years.


The Executive Yuan announced yesterday it had appointed DPP Legislator Winston Dang (陳重信) as the EPA's new deputy minister. Dang will be acting minister until the Executive Yuan makes the official appointment of the new EPA head.

Tu Wenling (杜文苓), chair of the Taiwan Environmental Action Network, said the environmental group's concern was not so much the appointment of a new EPA minister, as the Executive Yuan's environmental policies in the future -- whether it would focus more on sustainable development or simply curry favor with large corporations.


"The Executive Yuan's performance has been disappointing in the past," Tu said.

"The Executive Yuan has already set its own agenda," she said. "It would often blame EPA committee members for their failure to pass environmental impact reviews for certain projects."

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