AIT rebuts charges of dust, noise at office construction site
Central News Agency
2013-03-02 08:49 PM
Taipei, March 2 (CNA) The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) has received no complaints about noise and dust allegedly caused by construction of its new office compound in Taipei's Neihu District, a spokesman said Saturday. Construction of the new AIT office compound has been proceeding in accordance with local regulations, said AIT Taipei Office spokesman Mark Zimmer in an interview.

His remarks were prompted by opposition Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Hsueh Ling, who said earlier in the day that she has received petitions from Neihu residents about inconveniences caused by the construction.

"Neihu constituents have complained that hillside land preparation for the AIT office construction has caused heavy dust and noise in the area," Hsueh said.

She further quoted Neihu residents as complaining that although the topsoil at the construction site has been covered by tarpaulin, muddy water and silt often flood the vicinity on rainy days.

Piles of clay dug out from hillside land have also caused safety concerns, Hsueh went on. "Worse yet, it seems to me that the completion date for the AIT construction project will be further deferred," she added.

Zimmer responded, however, that the AIT Taipei Office, which represents U.S. interests in Taiwan in the absence of formal diplomatic ties, has never received similar complaints from local residents. He also said that the project has been progressing as scheduled and in accordance with Taiwan's laws and regulations. Under the AIT's two-stage plan, the first phase focuses on building a flood pool and other facilities, with construction of office buildings to take place in the second stage.

Zimmer said the US$216 million construction project is scheduled for completion in 2015. The compound will use locally produced solar panels as a partial source of its electricity supply, according to AIT officials.

(By Angelea Tsai, Tseng Ying-yu and Sofia Wu)

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