Mekong nations to set up EIA working group

In the statement released today, the Mekong Regional Technical Working Group for EIA brings together governments, civil society organisations (CSOs), and will expand to cover private sector and EIA experts to improve regional cooperation for effective EIA policy and practices. The group aims to reduce the social and environmental impacts of regional infrastructure projects, particularly as the upcoming Association of Southeast Nations (Asean) Economic Community further hastens trans-boundary investments.

CPC touts plant utilization rate

State-run CPC Corp, Taiwan (CPC) yesterday said that it has achieved a cold energy utilization rate of 63.5 percent at its Taichung liquefied natural gas (LNG) complex, and would continue exploring business opportunities with firms interested in using the clean energy to further boost utilization.

The LNG utilization rate has exceeded the minimum requirement, 48 percent, stipulated by the environmental impact assessment (EIA) committee last year, plant director Liou Jiuun-chang (劉俊昌) said while briefing committee members at the Environmental Protection Administration yesterday.

Suez fined for landfill leachate licence breach

The company – which was trading as Sita UK at the time of the offences – pleaded guilty to breaching licensed conditions on leachate volume between 18 December 2012 to 12 June 2013, and to failing to report breaches to the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) between 9 January 2012 and 8 March 2013.

PerthMapThe Binn landfill (Glenfarg) site is operated by Sita which holds a Pollution Prevention and Control (PPC) permit from SEPA which allows it to accept a total of 3.5 million tonnes of household, industrial and commercial waste, at a maximum rate of 372,000 tonnes per annum.

Group calls for Ko to be bolder on Taipei Dome

Amid rising safety concerns related to the Taipei Dome project, the Songshan Tree Protection Volunteer Union yesterday called on Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) to adopt a bolder stance in negotiations with Farglory Land Development Co (遠雄建設) about the controversial Taipei Dome project, while reasserting that it would continue its campaign until the project is terminated.
Union director Yu Yi (游藝) yesterday said regarding recent remarks by Ko about the project that the Taipei City Government should give up its “flip-flop” stance and announce a plan to demolish the Taipei Dome.

Revealed: Australia's timber treatment plant's toxic legacy

A multinational corporation was allowed to pollute Canberra water with toxic chemicals in a case exposing more than a decade of failings by ACT authorities.

Koppers Wood Products' timber treatment plant in Hume caused hexavalent chromium, a carcinogen made infamous by environmental activist Erin Brockovich, to leach into groundwater at up to 2430 times the safe limit by 2007.

Abbott government strips environmental legal centres of federal funding

Australia's environmental legal centres have lost their federal funding in a move that could see the closure of some of the nine offices around the country.

The federal government has immediately cut an estimated $10 million boost over four years quietly given to Environmental Defender's Offices in the dying days of the former Labor government.

The government is also planning to end a long-standing annual payment – which for all but one office was around $90,000 – from July 1, meaning the legal centres will no longer receive any federal funding from mid-next year.

Taiwan: Academics urge ministry control in Miramar dispute

Lawyers and academics yesterday urged the Ministry of the Interior (MOI) to intervene in the controversial Miramar Resort Hotel project, as the local government has failed to carry out a court ruling ordering that all construction be halted.

The build-operate-transfer (BOT) beachfront hotel project by the Miramar Group and Taitung County Government at Shanyuan Bay (began construction of the main buildings on the 0.997-hectare land in 2005, circumventing the requirement for an environmental impact assessment (EIA) for land measuring more than 1 hectare.

Capacity Development Key to Stopping Illegal Trade in Hazardous and Electronic Waste

Building capacity among environmental and customs officials for detecting illegal transboundary shipments of hazardous and electronic wastes was the focus of the Second International Hazardous Waste Inspection Project. 11 countries participated in the Project, which was convened by the International Network for Environmental Compliance and Enforcement (INECE) Seaport Environmental Security Network (SESN).

Fiji: Bay of uncertainty

LILY Todd remembers when the Suva Harbor was in its majestic form, untouched, unspoilt before damaged ships permanently anchored themselves, before the chemicals and rubbish from factories polluted the waters, before any of the mangroves were cut down for development.

At 76-years old, Lily is the oldest resident at Uduya Point having lived there since 1948. She remembers how beautiful the Suva Harbor looked at dusk during sunset and how the sun seemed to glisten on the water at sunset.