Despite a Supreme Administrative Court ruling to void the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the expansion of the Phase 3 Zone [Houli] of the Central Taiwan Science Park (CTSP), the Environmental Protection Administration's (EPA) environmental impact assessment (EIA) committee yesterday gave conditional approval for the project to go ahead.
It is no surprise that the EPA once more ignored due process and did exactly what Premier Wu Den-yih wanted them to do. Legally, the EPA's EIA committee were required to to send the Phase-3 development project to a second round of review. But with EPA Minister Stephen Shen at the helm of yesterday's proceedings, the EIA committee wasn't going to do anything other than agree with their boss; even if that decision was of extremely dubious legality.
So yesterday marked another very sad day in the rule of law under the Ma regime. Ma and his cabinet seem to care little for legal niceties, displaced farmers and rural communities, fishers, pink dolphins, and reducing the nation's CO2 emissions. It's all about growth you see. About ensuring their cronies in the petrochemical industry get exactly what they want so they can grow richer at the expense of the nation, its health and sustainably managing its natural resources. Surely there are less toxic ways to create jobs?
But wait, you say. The approval was conditional. The EPA didn't give the developers the green light to do exactly what they want. There were requirements regulating water usage, ambient water quality and emission of volatile organic compounds. Sadly, the EPA doesn't have a very good track record there. Perhaps a little tap on the wrist and a little fine like they have done with Formosa Plastics with its fires and excessive water usage.
For more see Science park development gets conditional approval in today's Taipei Times.
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