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Suao fishermen protest against power plant pollution
Central News Agency
2014-08-11 11:06 PM
Taipei, Aug. 11 (CNA) Almost 1,000 fishermen protested outside of the Ho-Ping Power Co. in Hualien on Monday, charging that wastewater discharged by the power plant was polluting waters and hurting marine life in their fishing grounds off Yilan County up the coast. Chen Chun-sheng, the president of the Suao Fishermen's Association and the leader of the protest, said the warm water discharged by the power plant is threatening the survival of baby eels, fish, shrimps and other shellfish. He also contended that the plant's beach nourishment plan is pushing sediment into the sea and causing the death of coral reefs and a decline in fish populations. The fisherman said the Hualien plant was actually creating a bigger problem off the coast of Yilan than at home because of the northward flow of the ocean current.

Yet 85 percent of the funds the plant "gives back" to the community for its electrical towers have stayed in Hualien County, while only 15 percent go to Yilan County, Chen said, asking that the formula be changed.

Liu Yi-chang, the power company's general manager, met with 20 representatives of the protesters and defended the plant's position.

Liu said the company's warm water drainage channel met environmental standards and has been monitored by professional academic institutions for a long time. The company's beach nourishment project has been examined by the Environmental Protection Administration, and the water quality has met applicable standards, he said. The protesters threatened a bigger protest if a consensus was not reached, and the two sides agreed to meet again in a month to try to find a solution.

(By Lee Shien-feng and Huang Po-chun)

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