About a dozen environmentalists yesterday rallied outside the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) in Taipei to protest a plan by the Changhua County Government to develop an industrial park dedicated to precision machinery in Erlin Township (二林).
A fifth review of an environmental impact assessment for the proposed park was scheduled to be held at the agency yesterday.
Since 2014, the project has undergone four reviews spanning three county commissioners: Cho Po-yuan (卓伯源), Wei Ming-ku (魏明谷) and incumbent Wang Hui-mei (王惠美), Changhua Environmental Protection Union representative Jenny Wu (吳慧君) said.
There are about 3,800 hectares of idle industrial land in Taiwan, she said, adding that at the Erlin Science Park next to the site of the proposed project, a large portion of the 101 hectares of land earmarked for the precision machinery industry remains unused.
One of the reasons developers cited for not utilizing the science park was that paying rent there for 20 years would be the equivalent of buying land, she said.
However, based on the union’s calculations, the cost of purchasing land would be “eight to 19 times” that of renting, she said.
Developers should prioritize the use of the existing land at the science park instead of continuing to “sacrifice agricultural land,” Wild at Heart Legal Defense Association attorney Tsai Ya-ying (蔡雅瀅) said.
People might think that agricultural land “does not matter,” but if there is a global food shortage, Taiwan would have to find a way to maintain its food security, she said.
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