EIA committee rejects Taoyuan’s revised MRT plan

GREEN LINE::The panel asked the city to submit more documentation, such as a greenhouse gas emissions and traffic evaluation plan, by May 31

By Lin Chia-nan  /  Staff reporter

Tue, Feb 27, 2018 - Page 3

The Taoyuan City Government’s plan to include one more station in its mass rapid transit (MRT) network was yesterday rejected by an environmental impact assessment (EIA) committee, which asked it to clarify the scope of its development project.

While the city marks the first anniversary of its Airport MRT line on Friday, it is also drafting plans for a 21-station Green Line that would extend from the airport to the city’s Bade (八德), Taoyuan (桃園), Dayuan (大園) and Lujhu (蘆竹) districts.

The project passed an environmental impact assessment in 2014, but the Green Line’s G09 station — near the intersection of Jhongjhen Road and Minguang Road in Taoyuan District — was excluded at the time because of controversy over land expropriation.

At yesterday’s EIA committee meeting at the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA), the city government sought to include the G09 station by applying to change project details, saying it has minimized controversy surrounding the station by reducing the total development area from 6,400m2 to 3,228m2, of which 2,368m2 belong to private landowners.

The number of affected landowners has dropped from 71 to 40, including 35 who have signed letters of intent with the city government, it said.

As the planned site is one of the city’s earliest developments, including a 45-year-old building, the project would help improve local traffic and sanitation conditions, it said.

A new residential building will be constructed on site, while the G09 station, which will be able to accommodate 16,000 passengers per day, will be underground, it added.

However, its estimation about local traffic and the building’s relevance to its railway project were questioned by the EIA committee.

As the development area of the Taoyuan Aerotropolis (桃園航空城) project is expected to shrink, the city government should conduct a new traffic impact assessment about the MRT operation and response strategies, committee member Lee Ker-tsung (李克聰) said.

The city government should have applied for a separate EIA review for the residential building project, instead of incorporating it into the MRT project, committee member Wang Jieh-jiuh (王价巨) said, adding that its plan for the building is quite hollow.

To clarify its development scope, the city should submit more documentation, such as a traffic evaluation and greenhouse emissions regulation plan, by May 31, the committee said.