Environmentalists protest coal-fired power stations

BY JENNY CHOU  /  STAFF REPORTER

Thu, Sep 22, 2005 - Page 2

Plans for the establishment of two coal-fired power stations in Changhua County's Changbing industrial area have moved environmental protection groups there and in Taichung City to bring their protests to the Legislative Yuan in Taipei yesterday.

The New Environment Society of Taichung's president, Wang Guo-chiao (王國翹), said they wanted to make their voices heard before the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) came to a decision today concerning the power stations.

The meeting by the EPA congress today follows approval of the power-plant plans by the special investigation team of the Bureau of Environmental Inspection in July, on the provision that certain conditions were met.

Wang said that in the past, when the interests of the EPA conflicted with those of the ministry of finance or political parties, the administration tended to back down but now it was time for them to "toughen up."

Wang asked, "What is more important? The protection of the environment or the economy?"

He said that this was a matter of global concern which everyone should oppose, regardless of political affiliation.

Wang said that the environmental alliance group's plans included opening up discussions with Ministry of Finance officials and to provide documentation for reference to legislators from each political party.

He said that the incidence rate of lung and liver cancer along the coast from Taichung to Tainan had increased significantly since the establishment of industrial sites in Taichung, such as the Taichung power station that was opened and started operating in 1991.