Taipei, An environmental protection group on Friday threatened to sue the government if it failed to properly address the issue of an imminent threat to endangered algal reefs in northern Taiwan.
At a protest outside the Executive Yuan, the group said the government must act immediately to stop the staterun oil refiner CPC Corp., Taiwan from sinking caissons near the reefs off the Datan area in Taoyuan City.
The caissons, watertight structures within which construction work can be carried out underwater, are part of CPC's efforts to build a third liquefied natural gas terminal in an intertidal zone where there are many endangered species, including crustose coralline algae, said Pan Chongcheng leader of the group "Save Algae Reefs in Taiwan."
"The algal reefs in the Datan area are the most precious kind, as they can absorb carbon dioxide and help slow global warming," he said.
CPC's plan to sink caissons in that location by the end of the month to construct its gas terminal in the Guantang Industrial Park must be stopped at once, as the work will disrupt the ecosystem where the algae grow, Pan said.
"If the government fails to act to immediately stop the company from proceeding with the project and does not begin a review to designate Datan a natural landscape area, we will file lawsuit against the government," he said.
Opposition Kuomintang (KMT) lawmaker Jason Hsu urged Premier Su Tsengchang to respond to the group's call, saying also that he and the environmental group will hold an international news conference to bring global attention to the issue.
At the demonstration, the group handed a petition to Su Jin sheng secretarygeneral of the Executive Yuan's Office of Energy and Carbon Reduction, who promised to relay the protesters' concerns to the Cabinet, the relevant government agencies and CPC.
Su also called on all concerned groups and individuals to submit pertinent information on the issue to the Ocean Affairs Council to allow it to conduct an objective and comprehensive review to decide whether to designate Datan as a natural landscape area.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel