The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) yesterday conditionally passed the environment impact assessment (EIA) for Tainan County's Tree Valley Park (樹谷園區), a 247 hectare TFT-LCD industrial park that could potentially create at least 10,000 jobs and NT$300 billion (US$9.3 billion) in revenue.
The plan was rejected by the last environmental impact committee on grounds that it competed with agricultural water supplies and posed air pollution and flooding threats.
The park, located west of the Southern Taiwan Science Park (
In 2004 the plan received approval from its EIA to host downstream display manufacturers.
"However, since many downstream corporations moved to China, the design of the park was modified to host middle-and upper-stream corporations such as polarizers, glass substrates and TFT-LCD manufacturers," said Edward Huang (
Tainan County Commissioner Su Huan-chih (
"The EIA was passed on several conditions to ensure the rights of local farmers as well as the health of nearby residents," Huang said.
The conditions included agreements to minimally affect the agricultural water supply, to reduce productivity when the air pollution index exceeds EPA standards, to evaluate health risks for nearby residents and to establish a supervision committee that monitors Tree Valley's compliance to the above EPA regulations.
In response, Taiwan Environmental Protection Union Chairwoman Gloria Hsu (
"Look at [Formosa Plastic's] Sixth Naphtha Cracker Plant," she said. "In the proposal they said the water usage would be 257,000 tonnes daily, but after the construction they upped the number to 350,000, and the EPA still gave them the green light."
"History may repeat itself with Tree Valley," she said.
"Su is a law professional, but he is leading the [Tainan] Government in breaking the law," she said, citing the committee's original veto to Tree Valley partially "because Chimei started the park's construction before the EIA was passed."
"We also voted against it because the air pollution capacity in the area had already reached saturation with the Southern Taiwan Science Park, and because the construction would increase flooding risks to nearby neighborhoods," she said.