Back to list

Talk of the Day -- Tainan residents protest against pesticide plant

2014/04/19 21:37:12

A 2-year-old girl wears a banner opposing a planned pesticide factory during a protest in Tainan Friday.

Greater Tainan residents opposed to a plan by the local subsidiary of Rotam Global Agrosciences to build a new pesticide plant in Tainan have taken protest action, citing concerns that the facility will pollute their environment.

As of Saturday morning, more than 3,500 signatures had been obtained on a petition against the establishment of the plant in the southern city's Sinhua District.

Meanwhile, about 1,000 Tainan residents began an indefinite sit-in at Wu-te Temple in the district Friday night.

On Saturday morning, scores of protesters, including several elementary school students, joined the sit-in, which was initiated by the Tua-Bak-Kang Green Environment Front, a civic group founded by Sinhua residents.

The sit-in is scheduled to be staged every weekend.

The following are excerpts of United Evening News' coverage of the issue on Saturday:

"I'm a Sinhua native, I cannot let my hometown remain under the threat of pollution," said Lin Chou-chun, a fifth grader who participated in the sit-in Saturday morning.

Hsu Ming-yang, the convener of the Tua-Bak-Kang Green Environment Front, said the group has collected 3,500 signatures, mainly from local residents, while a number of local farmers and students at various levels
have taken part in the sit-in protest.

The company has said it will halt construction of the plant but will not revoke its plan to build the plant in the district.

"Since the company will not scrap its plan to build the plant, we will not stop our protests," Hsu said at Saturday's sit-in, which started at 7 a.m.

Following a clash between the pesticide manufacturer and local residents, the Tainan City government on Friday revoked its building permit for the company to erect a new factory in the area.

Hsu said, however, that he hopes the city government will present evidence to show it has not made any closed-door deals with the company and will promise to protect the local villages.

Hsieh Tien-nan, a special project manager at the company, said it will follow the instructions of the local government and will consider filing a new application for a building permit after public doubts about pollution have been allayed.

The company will not begin construction of the plant until it has obtained a building permit from the government, he stressed. However, Hsieh did not comment on whether the company will withdraw its plan for construction in the area.

Meanwhile, Chao Ching-hui, director-general of the Tainan government's Department of Information and International elations, said the company's investment plan was approved by the central government and then by the local government.

In its application, the company said the factory's operations will not involve waste disposal, waste gas emissions, or waste water discharge and it had secured the land for the project, he said.

The local government, therefore, decided to issue the building permit for the factory considering there were no environmental concerns, as the application indicated, Chao said.

The local government said the building permit had expired April 13 and the company had failed to start construction before the deadline.

The city said it would conduct a comprehensive review if Rotam files a new application. (April 19, 2014)
(By Evelyn Kao)
Enditem/ pc