Environmental activists protested in front of the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) yesterday, in a bid to halt construction at the Central Taiwan Science Park (CTSP) — a high-tech industrial zone.
Eco-campaigners said the park’s administration had altered the finalized manuscript of its environmental impact assessment (EIA) for its fourth phase expansion project and should be ordered to halt work and re-submit its assessment paperwork.
Members from the Taiwan Water Resources Protection Union (TWWPU) said the mid-term water usage project scheduled in the original EIA plan covered “2010 to 2015,” but that the finalized manuscript had been changed by a year and now stated “2010 to 2016.”
Although the EPA had asked the CTSP administration to correct the problem, it should not be dealt with in such a sloppy way, a TWWPU member said, adding that the EPA should toughen up and demand the CTSP outline new project plans and undergo a new EIA process.
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Liu Chien-kuo (劉建國), who came out in support of the environmentalists’ demands, said he had proposed a bill at the legislature to halt construction because the plan had been altered several times.
Changhua Environmental Protection Union secretary--general Shih Yueh-ying (施月英) said utilization rates at several science parks in Taiwan have been lowered in recent years and the National Science Council should take responsibility for proposing a Strategic Environmental Assessment to the EPA. This should include comprehensive consideration of the actual industrial developments and regional environmental impact, Shih said.
EPA Comprehensive Planning Department Director-General Yeh Jiunn-horng (葉俊宏) accepted the protesters’ petition and said “Whether the developer, or the consultant company have committed forgery on CTSP’s fourth expansion project or not, it will be investigated and decided by the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office, to which the EPA submitted the case last Friday.”
“Moreover, the analysis on the differences of before and after modification to the water usage plan should be submitted to the Water Resources Agency,” Yeh said. “The administration will deal with the remaining problems according to the Environmental Impact Assessment Act (環境影響評估法).”