Environmentalists yesterday urged the Yunlin County Government not to renew Formosa Petrochemical Corp’s (FPCC) coal-fired boiler licenses next month, while the county promised it would use the strictest criteria in reviewing the company’s application.
Dozens of environmentalists rallied in front of Douliou Railway Station, calling on Yunlin County Commissioner Lee Chin-yung (李進勇) to fulfill his promise to ban coal and petroleum coke — the primary source of air pollution in the county — or, at least, to refuse to renew the licenses that are due to expire on June 11.
“We do not oppose [FPCC’s] naphtha cracker. We oppose its air pollution,” said Wang Li-ping (王麗萍), one of the demonstrators.
Photo: Lin Kuo-hsien, Taipei Times
The protesters demanded that the company replace coal with natural gas, as it did at its plant in Texas, and asked the county government to hold a public hearing this month before deciding on renewing the licenses.
The Taipei Department of Environmental Protection held such a hearing in February to review the applications of Chang Chun Petrochemical Corp and Jinzhou Technology Corp, and eventually reduced the amount of their coal permit by 94 percent, Taiwan Healthy Air Action Alliance researcher Hsu Hsin-hsin (許心欣) said.
The Yunlin Environmental Protection Bureau can do the same, Hsu said.
She added that the group has obtained some information on the licenses, but parts of the information are not available because of FPCC’s confidentiality claims, such as the price and description of the coal it buys.
The bureau issued a statement acknowledging the group’s efforts to fight for public health and said it would adopt the strictest criteria when reviewing the company’s application to renew its licenses.
It said it had tightened control over the plant since 2015, reducing its coal permit by 2,312,726 tonnes and its petroleum coke license by 609,340 tonnes, as well as shortening the duration of its license from five years to two.
As for the group’s call for a public hearing, Air Quality Protection and Noise Control section chief Liao Chong-huan (廖崇圜) said Lee had turned down the suggestion at a meeting of the Yunlin County Council last month.
A recently discovered supernova is the brightest and closest to Earth identified in the past decade, and can be observed with basic equipment, the Taipei Astronomical Museum said on Wednesday. The supernova has an absolute magnitude of 14.9 in luminosity and is in the Pinwheel Galaxy (M101) about 21 million light-years from Earth. It was discovered early on May 20 by Japanese amateur astronomer Koichi Itagaki, who immediately reported the finding to the International Astronomical Union, the museum said. The supernova was designated SN 2023ixf following the astronomical naming conventions for supernovas, it added. The museum said that it observed
Tropical storm Guchol is moving in a northeasterly direction off the east coast of the Philippines and will not hit Taiwan, but will impact local weather starting on Friday, the Central Weather Bureau said Thursday. The storm would bring a low-pressure system northward toward the vicinity of Taiwan, forecaster Chao Hung (趙竑) said. Northern Taiwan will see intermittent rain showers in the morning, and thunderstorms in the afternoon on Friday, he said, adding that rain would be heavier on the east coast and in the central-southern mountainous areas. Rainfall would continue into Saturday, and would spread throughout Taiwan proper, he
Exiled Chinese democracy advocate Wang Dan (王丹) yesterday denied an accusation by former Taiwanese political worker Lee Yuan-chun (李援軍) that Wang had sexually harassed him in a hotel room in New York nine years ago. There was a huge gap between Lee’s accusation and his own understanding and memory, Wang wrote on Facebook, adding it was hard for him to respond further regarding a “unilateral description” made by someone else. Wang made the remarks after his initial response on Facebook was met with criticism, with people saying he did not directly address the allegation. Lee on Friday wrote on Facebook that he
A man was arrested in Hsinchu on Saturday on suspicion of filming women in the women’s washroom of a shopping mall in the city, local Chinese-language media reported on Thursday. The man was arrested at around noon on Saturday when a woman using a stall in the mall’s washroom noticed a cellphone being held above her from the neighboring stall, reports said. The woman ran out of the washroom and yelled to her husband to help her, after which the suspect – who was dressed as a woman – attempted to flee, but was subdued by other men until police