Activists urge review of science parks’ water use

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Wed, Oct 10, 2012 - Page 4

The first ad hoc environmental impact assessment (EIA) meeting on changes made to the fourth-phase expansion project of the Central Taiwan Science Park (CTSP) to make precision machinery its core industry, was held yesterday, but environmentalists urged the government to redo EIAs for all science parks’ water usage in Taiwan instead of proceeding the project.

In response to the limited water available for the project in Changhua County’s Erlin Township (二林) and concerns from environmentalists and farmers over the subsequent deprivation of irrigation water, the National Science Council (NSC) has amended the plan.

NSC Deputy Director-General Hocheng Hong (賀陳弘) said the new plan would reduce water usage from 160,000 tonnes per day to about 20,000 tonnes, reduce electricity usage by one-quarter, wastewater discharge by one-sixth and volatile organic compounds emissions by one-quarter compared with the original plan.

However, prior to the meeting, environmentalists staged a protest in front of the Environmental Protection Administration, saying that the CTSP would still steal irrigation water from farmers, and that a nationwide EIA should be done to reassess science parks’ efficiency.

Yunlin County Shallow Waters Aquaculture Association president Lin Jin-lang (林進郎) said the park should recycle all of its wastewater so that the amount of water diverted from farming can be reduced.

At the EIA meeting, the Yulin County government said that it is concerned that the approximately 20,000 tonnes of wastewater that will be discharged into the Jhuoshuei River every day will negatively impact local agriculture.

The meeting ended without a conclusion, but the council was asked to provide more information to help resolve people’s concerns.