Dozens of residents from Yunlin County’s Taisi Township (台西) and environmental activists yesterday staged a rally outside the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) in Taipei over what they called the Formosa Plastic Group’s (FPG) attempt to “smuggle” plans for its fifth-phase naphtha cracker complex into the eighth and ninth analysis reports on the difference of the environmental impact for the complex’s fourth-phase expansion plans.
FPG delegates yesterday said during an environmental impact assessment (EIA) committee meeting that the company is willing to drop its fifth-phase cracker expansion plans in exchange for the plans being reviewed under the procedure of analysis reports on the difference of the environmental impact.
The delegates presented a report showing that the total production capacity increase generated by the expansions carried out according to the complex’s fourth-phase expansion plans amounted to 7.1 percent, which fails to reach the 10 percent cap stipulated by the analysis report standards.
Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times
However, Taiwan Water Conservation Alliance spokesperson Chen Chiao-hua (陳椒華) said that the FPG’s figure was “forged,” alleging the company used false statistics to pass the EPA’s assessment, including misrepresenting the amount of volatile organic compounds the complex emitted every year.
She said the company deliberately cited statistics produced by six long dormant pressure tanks in the complex in the sixth analysis report as proof that it — along with 14 other companies operating in the complex — had reduced up to 98 tonnes of volatile organic compound emissions, which in turn helped them pass the assessment, allowing them to carry out expansion projects accounting for no more than 10 percent of their overall production capacity.
She also called into question other statistics provided by the company, including the amount of wastewater discharged into the ocean and the amount of air pollution the complex causes on a yearly basis, saying that they have all been understated by FPG.
Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times
Taisi residents showed statistics on the mortality rates of locals who suffered from cancer in 2011 and 2012, with statistics in 2011 showing that the mortality rate of Wulang (五榔) villagers was 19.4 times higher than the national average.
The EIA committee, after deliberating on the comments made by FPG, residents and activists, concluded that the company must submit a request to the Bureau of Industry and the Bureau of Energy before the committee can allow it to drop its fifth-phase plan and proceed with the assessment of its eighth and ninth analysis reports.
The committee also decided to establish a maximum for pollutants permitted in the complex with the Yunlin County’s Department of Environmental Protection and project owners, while issuing a resolution that project owners shall in the future only provide statistics on the amount of pollutants generated by collating their operational facilities.
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