INCREASING PRESSURE: An agency official said that its processes were transparent, but still accepted lawmakers’ demand that it submit amendment proposals by next month
Date: Nov 20, 2018
By: Lin Chia-nan / Staff reporter
Lawmakers yesterday froze the Environmental Protection Administration’s (EPA) environmental impact assessment (EIA) budget for fiscal year 2019, citing its controversial approval of a gas terminal project last month.
A proposal by Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Alicia Wang (王育敏) to freeze NT$10 million (US$323,562) of the agency’s budget was approved by the Legislative Yuan’s Social Welfare and Environmental Hygiene Committee in a meeting chaired by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Wu Kuen-yuh (吳焜裕).
The EPA last month pushed through CPC Corp, Taiwan’s plan to build a liquefied natural gas terminal in Taoyuan in a vote where the majority was provided by government representatives as a number of other EIA committee members expressed their opposition by boycotting the meeting, Wang said.
The case highlights the shortcomings of the current EIA system, and part of the agency’s budget should be frozen until it proposes plans to close the system’s loopholes and forwards draft amendments to the Environmental Impact Assessment Act (環境影響評估法) to the legislative committee, she said. [FULL STORY]