As state-run Taiwan Power Co (Taipower) is to deliver a report on its proposed Shenao Power Plant (深澳電廠) at the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) tomorrow, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Wu Kun-yuh (吳焜裕) yesterday called on the public to be rational regarding concern over potential pollution from the plant.
The utility’s plans to build the coal-fired Shenao plant in New Taipei City’s Rueifang District (瑞芳) has faced renewed criticism after its updated environmental impact report covering changes to the project was on March 14 passed by the EPA’s environmental impact assessment (EIA) grand assembly.
The committee required the utility to submit supplementary documentation and its supervising agency — the Ministry of Economic Affairs — to offer a year-by-year roadmap detailing how they are to achieve the goal of generating 50 percent of electricity from natural gas, 30 percent from coal and 20 percent from renewable sources by 2025.
The EIA grand assembly is to review its report tomorrow in a meeting to be chaired by EPA Deputy Minister Chan Shun-kuei (詹順貴), who came under fire for the decisive vote that he cast in the previous meeting.
The EPA has no presumed position on the Shenao project, Chan said yesterday when asked if it would not give its official approval if the reports were flawed.
While Anti-Shenao Plant Self-Help Group director Chen Chih-chiang (陳志強) yesterday said Rueifang residents and environmental groups plan to voice their objection to the project again in front of the agency at 1pm tomorrow, Wu separately said that the public should address the plant’s potential impact more rationally.
The PM2.5 emissions — fine particulate matter that measures 2.5 micrometers or smaller — produced by vehicles are three times more deadly than those produced by a coal-burning power plant, Wu said, citing a study conducted by Harvard University in 2000.
However, the utility should convince the public by presenting studies about the plant’s potential impact on human health and local ecology, Wu added.
Traffic pollution is serious, given the nation’s 73,000 older diesel vehicles contributing from 11 to 16 percent of the total air pollution, which is why the agency encourages people to phase out older cars, EPA Department of Air Quality Protection and Noise Control Director-General Tsai Hung-teh (蔡鴻德) said.
Yet, the Shenao plant’s emissions should be regulated as well, Tsai said, adding that the agency would require the new plant to achieve the lowest emission rate achievable.
While the utility promises that the plant’s particle emissions are to be kept under 8 milligrams per cubic meter, they could be further reduced to 5 milligrams per cubic meter, Tsai added.
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