EPA completes Aerotropolis project review

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Thu, Mar 14, 2013 - Page 3

The Taoyuan Aerotropolis project passed its Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) review at the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) yesterday.

The 4,791 hectare project in Taoyuan County’s Dayuan (大園) and Lujhu (蘆竹) townships near Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport is scheduled for completion in 2030, and aims to employ zone expropriation to acquire land for the airport’s expansion and development of trading, transportation and industrial zones.

The project’s estimated annual air pollutant emissions are about 1,107 tonnes of fine particulate matter, 107 tonnes of sulfur dioxide and 4,580 tonnes of nitrogen oxide, and it plans to use an additional 72,550 tonnes of water daily.

While the project was being reviewed by the EPA’s Environmental Impact Assessment general assembly meeting, several local residents and representatives of environmental groups questioned whether the planned zone expropriation would leave many people with nowhere to live, as well as destroying nearby farmland.

The review committee approved the project’s assessment, but demanded that the developer review water leakage rates, reduce water usage, apply rain-saving or other water recycling methods to conserve water for farm use, and enforce soil pollution remediation, greenhouse gas reduction and noise pollution reduction, and forbid it from establishing new coal-burning boilers

Taiwan Water Conservation Alliance spokesperson Chen Jiau-hua (陳椒華) said the project’s water usage plan was sloppy and said demanding the project examine its water leakage rate was not enough, adding that the project should not be allowed to pass the review process until it provides improved water use plans.

Taoyuan County Commissioner John Wu (吳志揚) said the project would not have a major impact on the county’ crop production because most of the land allocated to it is not suitable for farming or is fallow.

“Taoyuan County is developing high-quality agriculture now and I think the project could help rejuvenate agriculture in the area,” he said, adding that the Taoyuan Aerotropolis could help promote the county’s high-quality rice and other agricultural products.