Sat, Aug 11, 2007 - Page 4 News List

Activists say assessments are a sham

SCATHING Greens held a mock funeral yesterday, saying the DPP had loaded the Environmental Impact Assessment Committee with pro-business stooges

STAFF WRITER

The seventh Environmental Im-pact Assessment Committee came under fire during its very first meeting yesterday, with environmentalists accusing its members of being heavily biased toward business interests.

Green Party Taiwan Secretary-General Pan Han-shen (潘翰聲) led a group of environmental groups in a mock funeral protest outside the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), saying that without any true environmentalists on the committee this session, the "black hand of politics" had clearly worked its way into the EPA.

disguised

Fang Chien (方儉), secretary-general of the Green Consumers' Foundation, said that the five true environmentalists on the committee had been replaced by Democratic Progressive Party "troops" disguised as academics and experts.

These people, Fang said, intended to push through a series of controversial projects.

He said the committee would offer up Taiwan's environment to Premier Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄) as an election sacrifice.

Fang said the inspiration for the funeral theme had come from committee member James Lee (李界木), who, while serving as director of the Hsinchu Science Park, had sent a basket of flowers to environmentalist Kao Ching-po (高清波) with a card wishing him a "successful" funeral.

Fang said that the "rubber stamp" committee shouldn't waste public funds pretending to deliberate, and instead just go ahead and give approval to the projects.

Protesters brought baskets of flowers and read obituaries at the "funeral" demonstration, saying that "environmental assessment is dead."

professional

Members of the committee, meanwhile, were adamant that they would act according to their professionalism and conscience.

EPA Minister Winston Dang (陳重信) presided over the first committee meeting, saying that in the next two years it would strive toward professionalism, efficiency and simplicity while strengthening policy communication and its legal system.

He said that the EPA was considering commissioning private consulting companies to assess certain cases before being sent back to the committee for deliberation.

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