Wed, Jan 09, 2019 - Page 2 News List

Premier urged to jettison gas terminal project

CONTROVERSIAL PLAN:The terminal’s construction should be suspended while the Ministry of the Interior reviews the CPC project, lawyer Tsai Ya-ying said

By Lin Chia-nan  /  Staff reporter

Algal reefs are pictured in Taoyuan’s Guantang Industrial Park on Oct. 5 last year.

Photo: Huang Pei-chun, Taipei Times

Environmental activists yesterday called on the government to stop the construction of CPC Corp, Taiwan’s third liquefied natural gas terminal to regain the public’s trust.

After the project passed an environmental impact assessment in October last year amid controversy, the utility last month was found to have started construction on the project at the intertidal zone of Taoyuan’s Guantang Industrial Park (觀塘工業區), Taoyuan Local Union director Pan Chong-cheng (潘忠政) said.

Pan suspects the company has not obtained the Ministry of the Interior’s approval for the coastal construction work.

Environmentalists have presented accumulated evidence suggesting that the site is home to many endangered species, including algal reefs, the coral Polycyanthus chiashanensis, scalloped hammerhead sharks and many tern species.

While the Democratic Progressive Party administration claimed it has been reflecting on its mistakes following its losses in the Nov. 24 local elections last year, it has not amended its ways in pushing through the project, Pan said.

Voters do not back the government’s decision to “exchange” the approval of the terminal project for the abolition of the proposed project to build the Shenao Power Plant (深澳電廠) in New Taipei City’s Rueifang District (瑞芳), New Power Party Legislator Hsu Yung-ming (徐永明) said.

The “exchange” is a blatant disregard of environmental impact assessment procedure, he added.

Hsu urged Premier William Lai (賴清德) to cease construction of the terminal and to scrap the project before he resigns.

There have been reports that Lai might resign his position tomorrow and be succeeded by former premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌).

The terminal’s construction should be suspended while the ministry reviews the project and before the Council of Agriculture responds to an application to give the site protected natural landscape status, Wild at Heart Legal Defense Association lawyer Tsai Ya-ying (蔡雅瀅) said.

Construction and Planning Agency senior technical specialist Liao Wen-hung (廖文弘) said the scope of the construction does not exceed the 5 hectares reclaimed from sea that it had approved last year.

The agency is still reviewing the company’s proposed changes to the project, while it would take note if the site is listed as a protected area, he added.

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