Fri, Jul 22, 2016 - Page 3 News List

Longci landfill site prone to disasters: Activists

By Chen Wei-han  /  Staff reporter

Niupusi Township Warden Chen Yung-ho, center, and local residents yesterday protest against the construction of a landfill in Tainan’s Longci District.

Photo: Wu Chun-feng, Taipei Times

Environmentalists yesterday protested against a planned landfill in Tainan’s Longci District (龍崎), saying the site is prone to earthquakes and landslides, which could cause pollutants to leach into rivers and groundwater.

The Ousin landfill project was approved by the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) in 2003 and plans to develop 41.19 hectares to bury 18.7 million tonnes of industrial waste.

The Tainan City Government has not issued the developer a construction permit because of protests by local residents.

Tainan Mayor William Lai (賴清德) reached an agreement with the Executive Yuan in 2011, stating that the development could not begin without the approval of a majority of residents.

Following a long hiatus, environmental activists yesterday urged the city government not to issue a construction permit and the EPA to revoke its approval, because new geological studies suggested the area was not suitable for the development.

Following a magnitude 6.4 earthquake on Feb. 6, the Central Geological Survey and National Taiwan University geology professor Chen Wen-shan (陳文山) said that a fault line across Longci was “very active,” Tainan Community University professor Huang Huan-chang (黃煥彰) said.

The earthquake elevated the planned site by 14cm and significant ground displacement caused by the earthquake can be found in Longci, Huang said.

Mud volcanoes found in the area suggest that it is not geologically stable, but rich in groundwater. Building a landfill in the area might cause pollutants to leak into waterways, Taiwan Water Resources Protection Union spokeswoman Chen Jiau-hua (陳椒華) said.

The planned site is upstream of the Niupu River (牛埔溪), a tributary of the Erren River (二仁溪), which is a major source of agricultural water for the city, Chen said.

“Although Lai made an agreement with the Executive Yuan, the city government permitted the developer to conduct soil and waterworks, which were generally understood to be pre-construction works,” Huang said.

The planned site is a badland, which is easily eroded and holds little water or vegetation, but the Council of Agriculture spent more than NT$80 million (US$2.5 million) building dams and growing vegetation, making the area a home to a variety of animal and plant species, Tainan City Environmental Protection Alliance director Huang An-tiao (黃安調) said.

“The badland in Longci is a world-class landscape and a geological classroom, and the city government should use it to develop tourism rather than pollution. It would be unreasonable to build a landfill in a disaster-prone area where the government has spent so much money carrying out conservation works,” he said.

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