Activists protest against Changhua’s air pollution

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Wed, Aug 28, 2013 - Page 4

Environmental activists rallied in front of the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) yesterday afternoon, demanding it set an upper limit for the total air pollutant emissions for central Taiwan and establish an air quality monitoring station in Changhua County.

An Environmental Impact Assessment meeting was held yesterday at the EPA to discuss how to respond to air pollution from Chunghua Coastal Industrial Park.

Before the meeting, the activists said there is already too much air pollution in the county to allow any more industrial development that would create more pollution.

They asked the agency to repeal the total emissions limit set for the area by the Ministy of Economic Affairs’ Industrial Development Bureau and approved by the EPA in 1998, and instead mandate a new total emissions limit for central Taiwan.

A Taiwan Water Resources Protection Union representative said a National Science Council report showed the level of benzene in the air in the county’s Dacheng Township (大城) was considered high, and the source of pollution was likely from the Sixth Naphtha Cracker (六輕) in Miaoli County, so it was not enough just to set a total emissions limit for the industrial park.

EPA officials said it considered the temporary total emissions limit permitted in 1998 to be too loose and lacking limits for volatile organic compounds, so it had asked the bureau to file an environmental impact survey report in 2010.

It also asked the bureau in 2011 to re-evaluate the park’s total emissions limit, so it was likely the park will have a new emissiona limit it must follow.