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Kaohsiung mayor rejects CPC land revitalization plan

Kaohsiung mayor rejects CPC land revitalization plan

Kaohsiung, Nov. 10 (CNA) Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (??) said Tuesday that she would not accept a plan put forward by the state-run CPC, Taiwan (CPC) for the use of the land on which its now closed refinery complex once stood in the city's Houjin (??) District. The CPC should work with the Kaohsiung City government to devise a proper land revitalization plan, Chen said. The CPC's refinery complex in Houjin was fully shut down at the end of October, in line with a 1990 decision by the central government to relocate the facility in three stages over a 25-year period. The CPC is tearing down the oil refining facilities on the site but intends to leave 42 huge oil tanks there, a plan that Chen rejected. The mayor said she did not have an opportunity to discuss the CPC land revitalization project with the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) and was not optimistic about being able to negotiate with the central government on the issue before the Jan. 16 presidential election. Kaohsiung Deputy Mayor Hsu Li-ming (???) also said the MOEA, which oversees the state-run CPC, should not just rubber stamp the company's revitalization plan. Over the past two decades, the residents of Houjin District have staged several protests against numerous accidents at the CPC plant, including gas explosions, fires and oil leaks. In one such incident, an oil leak in 2004 from one of the tanks resulted in massive soil and groundwater pollution, forcing the city's environment department to invest huge funds and manpower in the cleanup. It took 10 years before the designation as a polluted area could be lifted. Meanwhile, Kang Yu-cheng, speaker of the Kaohsiung City Council, has assigned several council members to convene a public hearing and invite MOEA representatives to brief the public on the CPC land revitalization plan. Some city council members have suggested that the government and the oil industry should learn from the experience of the Ruhr industrial zone in Germany, where non-polluting industries and recreational facilities were built on a former site of iron and coal industries. (By S.F. Wang, C.F. Chen and Lillian Lin)


Updated : 2021-09-18 05:51 GMT+08:00