Hundreds of residents from Lukang Township in Changhua County showed up in a public hearing on Saturday to protest against the construction of a new incinerator.

The Industrial Development Bureau under the Ministry of Economic Affairs plans to build an industrial waste incinerator in the Changhua Costal Industrial Park. In May, residents traveled to the Taipei to protest, accusing the winning bidder of starting construction without obtaining the necessary permits.

Taiwanese media pointed that six incinerators are already operating in Changhua, including the one in the Taichung Power Plant. Air pollution is already a serious concern, and the addition of another incinerator may exacerbate the problem. Officials at the county government and local council have expressed opposition to the project.

The Mayor of Lukang, Hsu Chih-Hung, said, “In Lukang, many people have died of lung adenocarcinoma. We want the government to hear our voices and withdraw the plan as soon as possible because this is the heartfelt plea of the people of Lukang.”

Currently, nearly 9,000 people have signed the petition opposing the development project. At the hearing, Lian Jin-Chang, Director General of the Industrial Development Bureau, pledged to withdraw the project and said that the cement floor will be demolished by the end of June.

Environmental groups said Changhua has a large agricultural area that is important to the production of eggs, milk, vegetables, and fruits. The total incineration capacity in the Changhua Costal Industrial Park has long exceeded the permitted amount stated in the environmental impact assessment, resulting in severe environmental burdens.

Local residents called the protest “the largest in the history of the Lukang.”

After a series of protests, residents of Lukang successfully stopped DuPont from building manufacturing facilities for titanium dioxide in the Changhua Costal Industrial Zone in 1987, according to Taiwanese media. The Environmental Protection Administration was established in the same year.

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TNL Editor: Bryan Chou (@thenewslensintl)

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