Environmental activists yesterday called on the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) to reject the proposed development of the Hsinchi Industrial Park (新吉工業區) in Greater Tainan, to protect a world-class natural wetland in the area.
The industrial park project, which is to cover 123.26 hectares on the borders of Annan (安南), Anding (安定) and Sigang (西港) districts in Greater Tainan, was first proposed by the then-Tainan city government more than 10 years ago. Planning for the project restarted in 2012.
An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) ad-hoc specialists meeting was held at the EPA to review the development proposal yesterday.
According to the development proposal, the park is to provide 77.86 hectares for industrial use and 45.40 hectares for public facilities.
The Greater Tainan Government plans to complete the park by 2017, hoping to create an annual output value of NT$3.8 billion (US$125.5 million) and approximately 8,000 jobs.
However, the Tainan Water Protection Union said the Sihcao Wetland (四草濕地) — located between the mouths of the Tsengwen River (曾文溪) and the Yanshuei River (鹽水溪), has been declared a wetland of international importance by the Ministry of the Interior.
The union said if certain industries — like manufacturers of fabricated metal products and scrap metal recyclers — build plants in the industrial park, the industrial wastewater from these plants would seriously damage the wetland’s ecology.
The industrial park is less than 5km from the wetland, which means any wastewater will most likely affect the habitat of black-faced spoonbills in the wetland, Tainan Water Protection Union chairperson Huang An-tiao (黃安調) said, adding that industrial wastewater from the park would also likely affect irrigation water destined for nearby farmlands.
The meeting concluded that the local government should submit additional information for further review, including an ecological survey of black-faced spoonbills in the area and the results of further communication with local residents.