Friday, September 21, 2007

Hushan Update

Access Control Point-Hushan

The Hushan Reservoir figured prominently in the recent Taiwan Humpback Dolphin Workshop in that redirection of the water of the Cingshui River will exacerbate the reduction of freshwater flowing into the ocean, one of the major threats identified by scientists studying the animals.

A group of Chinese environmental media reporters were turned away from the Youcing Valley last week during a visit to Taiwan. The Water Resources Agency cited safety concerns. Local environmental groups in the area have cited lack of access to the area as the reason for not spending more time in the area, but others have criticized the local groups saying that someone should be in the area everyday watching over the developers. The original EIA was supposed to have set a precedent by those commissioners who approved the case "with tears in their eyes" as they attached a commitment for the developer (WRA) to use one per cent of the development costs for a comprehensive ecology preservation plan and implementation. To date, the WRA's committee has held three meetings but very little action has taken place, other than just prior to visits by EIA commissioners last year.

Seven volunteer lawyers organized by the Taipei Bar Association's Environmental Law Group have held two meetings on assisting the environmental groups that are bringing legal action against the Taiwan Environmental Protection Agency, and will be filing the formal court proceedings at the end of September. This is one of a very small number of actions that will be filed under the Environmental Impact Assessment Act to compel the EPA to order the developer to cease construction. One subgroup of the lawyers have spoken with prominent archaeologists concerning the recent discovery of 3000+ old ruins in the area of the reservoir and associated facilities and are preparing to file separate actions under Taiwan's Cultural Affairs Preservation Act.

Also see:
Newly Discovered Archeological Sites in the area of the Hushan Dam

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