Fri, Jul 26, 2019 - Page 4 News List

CPC urged to halt construction to protect algal reefs

Staff writer, with CNA

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Jason Hsu, left, speaks during a news conference on Wednesday at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei.

Photo: George Tsorng, Taipei Times

A group of environmentalists on Wednesday urged the government to scrap a construction project by state-owned oil refiner CPC Corp, Taiwan in Taoyuan’s coastal Datan (大潭) area to save protected algal reefs.

The company is set to sink caissons there by the end of the month as part of its efforts to build a third liquefied natural gas terminal at the Guantang Industrial Park, which would affect the ecosystem where the algae grow, Pan Chong-cheng (潘忠政), a leader of the “Save Algae Reefs in Taiwan” movement, told a news conference held by Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Jason Hsu (許毓仁) at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei.

The location of the industrial park is an intertidal zone inhabited by many endangered species, including crustose coralline algae, Pan said.

Hsu urged CPC to stop its construction project, citing an Academia Sinica report commissioned by the Council of Agriculture (COA) that shows the endangered crustose coralline algae — probably the world’s last ones — inhabit the area.

“In line with the Wildlife Conservation Act (野生動物保育法), the COA and the Ocean Affairs Council [OAC] should temporarily designate Datan as a natural landscape area and demand that the company pull out,” Hsu said.

OAC Ocean Conservation Administration Deputy Director-General Sung Hsin-chen (宋欣真) agreed to call a meeting with the Forest Bureau and Taoyuan authorities to address the issue, which the central government has promised to deal with.

Giving Datan a temporary natural landscape status would be an emergency measure to prevent the area from sustaining irreversible damage, Wild at Heart Legal Defense Association lawyer Tsai Ya-ying (蔡雅瀅) said, adding that the government should at once start a review to grant it designated landscape status.

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