Sat, Jun 01, 2013 - Page 4 News List

Resorts hurting Taitung, groups say

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

There are too many resorts planned in Taitung County that could destroy the natural environment of the eastern coastline, environmental groups said yesterday.

The groups made the comment as the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) convened an environmental impact assessment (EIA) meeting yesterday on a proposal to build a resort at Taitung County’s Shanyuan Bay (杉原灣).

The meeting was set to review modifications made to the project plan for the Shanyuan Palm Beach Resort which first received EIA approval in 2002.

However, because construction did not begin after the project received EIA approval and more than three years have passed, under the Environmental Impact Assessment Act (環境影響評估法) the project’s sponsors had to submit an analysis of differences between current environmental conditions and conditions at the time permission was granted, as well as any modifications to its original plan.

However, civic group Citizens of the Earth, Taiwan (CET) said that evidence of land grading work has been found at the site, in violation of the act, which states that development cannot start prior to the completion of the review.

The authorities should order the cessation of all activity and punish those at fault, CET said.

Tsai Chung-yueh (蔡中岳), director of the group’s Hualien and Taitung offices, said the controversial Miramar Resort Hotel as well as other proposed developments such as the Dulan Bay Golden Sea Resort are close to the project.

If these projects are approved, it would cause serious damage to one of the last remaining natural seacoasts in eastern Taiwan, he said.

The Taiwan Environmental Info Association’s Environmental Trust Center spokesperson Sun Hsiu-ju (孫秀如) said all the projects should be evaluated together because potential environmental damage would not be limited to any one project.

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