Taiwan's coasts face pollution threats: study

TAIPEI - The Taiwan Environmental Information Center (TEIA, 台灣環境資訊協會) said yesterday that there are five heavily-polluted areas on the western coast of Taiwan and some potential environmental pollution threats from future development projects on the eastern coast, according to recent TEIA research.

Chen Ruei-bin (陳瑞賓), the secretary-general of TEIA, named five places that have the worst-polluted coastline in Taiwan, including Hsingchu area, Changhua county, Taoyuan county, Kaohsiung city and Taichung city, based on the 2013 Taiwanese coastline field investigation report (台灣海岸藍皮書).

Chen also pointed out that the worst-polluted coastlines have been suffering from illegal wastewater disposal and other industrial waste for 30 years. The case of Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc. (ASE, 日月光) is not the only case of an unregistered wastewater pipe, there are more to be uncovered, said Chen.

"The government should be blamed for the damage because they did not fulfil their responsibility in banning these illegal acts," stated Chen.

Although the eastern coastline has not yet been polluted, people should not neglect potential environmental pollution threats from the development projects in this area, Chen Chao-Lun (陳昭倫), a scholar in Research Center for Biodiversity, Academia Silica (中研院生物多樣性研究中心), also added.

According to Chen Chia-Ling, the un-polluted eastern coastline preserves precious species and coral reefs. However, this also became the reason that attracted hotel and travel industries to develop new tourist destinations there. There are more than 30 development projects around the eastern coastline, said Chen Chao-Lun.