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Central Science Park environment report OKed

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) yesterday approved an environmental assessment of Erlin Area, or Phase 4, of the Central Taiwan Science Park.

The Erlin Area passed the environmental impact assessment (EIA) in 2009. The National Science Council (NSC, 國家科學委員會) applied for a new environment assessment to adjust the daily water usage as a result of a change in the industries that will operate in the park.

NSC Deputy Minister Hong Hocheng (賀陳弘) said that the council will supervise the management bureau of Central Taiwan Science Park to execute the conclusions made based on the environmental assessment.

According to the conclusion of the assessment, Erlin Science Park can discharge up to 20,000 tons of waste water into some sections of Zhuoshui River daily.

The EPA also regulated the amount of heavy metals that discharged water can contain to meet the human health protection standards.

Hocheng said that the NSC always constructs science parks based on principles of sustainability.

“The NSC will not sacrifice Taiwan's environment while improving Taiwan's economy and society,” Hocheng said.

Local Voices

Residents from Yunlin and Changhua counties protested in front of the EPA yesterday, demanding that the Central Taiwan Science Park recycle all its waste water instead of dumping it in Zhuoshui River.

Farmers from the counties said that the science park should consider multiple aspects when discharging waste water in the river. Otherwise, the pipe carrying wastewater could “explode” and pollute farms and groundwater.

They also said that the waste water standards are not as rigid as those for irrigation water, which could put areas surrounding the river at risk of being polluted.

According to the protesters, if AU Optronics (友達) and Chunghwa Picture Tubes Ltd. (中華映管) can recycle their waste water completely, the Central Taiwan Science Park should be able to do so.

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Residents from Yunlin and Changhua counties place produce in front of the Environmental Protection Administration as part of a protest, yesterday. They said that the science park should consider safety first when discharging waste water into a nearby river.(CNA)

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