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Environmentalists reject president's statement on Kuokuang

2011/04/22 20:30:44

Taipei, April 22 (CNA) Environmental representatives refused tobuy President Ma Ying-jeou's declaration Friday that hisadministration will not support the construction of the Kuokuangpetrochemical complex in central Taiwan's Changhua County.

Arguing that Ma's exclusion of Changhua from list of possiblesites for the proposed naphtha cracker complex was simply to shiftthe focus of the issue, the environmentalists refused to meet thepresident at a traditional meeting to observe Earth Day.

Instead, they held a demonstration outside the PresidentialOffice to demand that the controversial project be scrappedaltogether.

Although Presidential Office spokesman Lo Chih-chiang tried tosoothe the angry crowd and invite some of them into the office, theyrefused the offer and insisted they would not make any concessionsover the issue.

Tsai Chia-yang, chairman of the Changhua Coast ConservationAction group, said Taiwan could not afford the environmental cost ofthe building of the complex or its operation, regardless of the site.

"We do not accept any of the alternatives of the investment plan,and we have been clear we want the project to be completelyabandoned," Tsai said.

Ma said he opposed locating the Kuokuang plant in ChanghuaCounty, where much of it would sit on the Dacheng Wetland, shortlyafter an Environmental Protection Administration panel failed toreject outright the Kuokuang project on environmental grounds.

Environmentalists also criticized the panel for offering tworecommendations -- one that would give the project conditionalapproval and one that rejected the project.

(By Lee Hsin-Yin)
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