Wed, Jan 15, 2020 - Page 2 News List

Groups urge full review of Taoyuan runway project

By Sherry Hsiao  /  Staff reporter

Members of the Taiwan Association for Human Rights protest in front of the Environmental Protection Administration in Taipei yesterday against a project to build a third runway at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport.

Photo: CNA

Representatives from several advocacy groups yesterday gathered outside the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) in Taipei to call for a thorough review of a proposal to build a third runway at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport.

The agency was scheduled to hold a second meeting to review a draft environmental impact assessment (EIA) for the proposed runway.

About a dozen advocates held signs that bore messages such as “Without resolving the EIA controversy, [plans] cannot be passed hastily.”

At the first meeting in November last year, experts asked developers to provide a more detailed response to concerns such as the safety of an oil depot near the planned runway, air pollution and noise, Taiwan Association for Human Rights housing rights advocate Yu Yi-chia (余宜家) said.

Taoyuan International Airport Corp in its EIA report gave “empty answers to real questions,” she said.

“We want to once again remind [the developers] that if a disaster were to happen at the airport, it would have a huge impact on Taiwan’s overall society and economy,” she said.

The runway would be about 350m from the Shalun Oil Depot, Environmental Jurists Association legal project manager Hsu Meng-ping (徐孟平) said.

The oil depot supplies fuel not only to the airport, but also the rest of northern Taiwan, Hsu said.

The oil pipeline connecting the depot to the airport is “not buried very deep,” she added.

To her knowledge, the pipeline lies about 2m underground, she said, raising concerns about potential accidents.

She and the other advocates do not want to hear the developers keep saying “there will be no problems,” and instead want to know how the developers will respond “if, unfortunately, a problem occurs.”

Meanwhile, Environmental Rights Foundation research fellow Hsu Po-jen (許博任) called for a new social impact assessment.

A comprehensive social impact assessment should include a description of current conditions, a prediction of the project’s potential effects and plans for mitigating them, among other matters, he said.

The Taoyuan Aerotropolis project would “directly impact at least 15 percent of the population in Taoyuan’s Lujhu (蘆竹) and Dayuan (大園) districts,” Yu said.

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