Stop Taiwan CTSP Erlin Science Park, Protect Farmers, Fishermen and Dairy Farms

Farmers protest (3)Farmers protest in front of the Changhua County GovernmentThe CTSP has set up three sites in the central Taiwan since September, 2002 and is now proposing the 4th stage of its expansion in Erlin, Changhua County, Taiwan.  The CTSP has acquired 1,890 acres of land in the other three sites and is proposing to acquire 1,569 acres (635 hectares) for the Erlin site, which includes 741 acres (300 hectares) to satisfy the need of AU Optronics, a mass production TFT-LCD manufacturer.  The health and social impacts associated with the expansion far outweigh any possible benefit and will destroy the livelihood of the local farmers, oyster fishermen and dairy farms.

The Erlin Science Park project will:

-- Demand 160,000 tons of clean water per day from Changhua area, where the underground aquifers in the vicinity are currently the main water supply for drinking and irrigation.

--  Inevitably destroy the oyster farms along the coast because of the 160,000 tons of wastewater discharged from the science park everyday.

--   Significantly and unavoidably increase local air and water pollution;

--   Create real potential for contamination from 1,093 tons of volatile organic compounds per year and numerous kinds of hazardous chemicals

--    Inevitably pollute the habitat of fewer than 100 remaining Taiwan Humpback Dolphins or Taiwan White Dolphins (Sousa chinensis) along the coastal waters of Changhua County and hasten the extinction of this unique population, which was designated critically endangered by the IUCN in August 2008. .

--   Seriously violate the rights of the local farmers by confiscating and/or contaminating their land;

--   Seriously violate the right to safe drinking water for the local residents;

Over the years, the high-tech industry in Taiwan has thrived under the protective wings of the government. At the same time, IT corporations have failed to internalize the environmental costs of their production; they have again and again evaded the pollution costs they have imposed onto the local environment and communities. Furthermore, the high-tech industry has cloaked its deception through %u201Ccompliance%u201D with local environmental regulations, which are already outdated. Existing regulations on the books has been outpaced by rapid technological changes. There is currently no written law that adequately regulates high-tech pollution in Taiwan. As a result, IT corporations have easily slipped under the radar in their questionable environmental practices.

Before the CTSP precedes its ongoing expansion, we call on Taiwan Legislature, National Science Council and EPA to address the following issues:

-- to stop the CTSP Erlin Science Park project as it is proposed;

--to revise the Information Disclosure Act to address the issue of governmental and corporate transparency regarding pollution and toxics released into our environment;

--to modify the Regulation on the Management of Hazardous Substances with the spirit of REACH, particularly the emphasis on corporations%u2019 responsibility;

--to amend the standards on wastewater, air pollutants, and waste according to the characteristics of the high-tech industry.

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