Environmental Public Interest Cases

In administrative litigation, people lose up to 90% of the time, highlighting the difficult challenges of environmental lawsuits. When residents lacking expertise face cases of improper development, it is like David versus Goliath. EJA's mission is to assemble a professional team of lawyers, expert scholars, and civil society groups to support residents in litigation, discuss movement strategies, and provide legal assistance."

Taipei City Shilin District Shazi Island Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Revocation Lawsuit

The environmental impact assessment (EIA) for the Shazi Island area in Taipei City's Shilin District pertains to the redevelopment of the old urban area. One of the most critical aspects is the flood control project. During the first-phase EIA, almost all EIA committee members requested a careful evaluation, emphasizing the need to assess the impact of landfill and embankment construction on surrounding areas such as Guandu, Beitou, Wugu, Lujhou, and even Tamsui. However, in the second-phase EIA, the assessment of the impact of the flood control project was removed by the development unit...


Ongoing Lawsuit of Taoyuan Aerotropolis Urban Planning Case

This case represents the first lawsuit filed by residents with vested interests following the implementation of the "Urban Planning Chapter of the Administrative Litigation Act" for newly proposed urban planning projects. The plaintiffs, consisting of residents, legal representatives, and civil society groups, held a press conference prior to the court hearing, explaining that the Taoyuan Aerotropolis project, initiated alongside the construction of the third runway at Taoyuan Airport, encompasses a proposed urban plan covering over 4,500 hectares of land. Of this, more than 3,100 hectares are slated for acquisition through sectional expropriation. The residents opposed to expropriation have engaged legal representatives to seek judicial relief, asserting that the Aerotropolis urban plan lacks legitimacy and necessity, suffers from numerous flaws in evaluation, and constitutes severe legal violations. They hope the court will render a judgment that rectifies the urban planning process.

Expropriation of Land and Superstructures in the Vicinity of Taoyuan Aerotropolis
Taoyuan Aerotropolis Airport Park Land and Surface Property Acquisition Case
Lawsuit for the Revocation of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for Taoyuan Aerotropolis

The Taoyuan Aerotropolis project represents the largest case of section expropriation in Taiwan. With a newly expanded urban development plan covering over 4,500 hectares, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications and the Taoyuan City Government have initiated the combined expropriation of more than 3,100 hectares. The first phase of expropriation encompasses approximately 2,599 hectares, equivalent to nearly 3.8 times the size of Xiao Liuqiu Island, and affects at least 6,000 households or more.

Revocation Lawsuit for the Self-Owned City Land Rezoning Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in Wantan, Xindian District, New Taipei City
Climate Lawsuit Against High Electricity Consumers Clause

On February 3, 2021, the Environmental Jurists Association (EJA) and Greenpeace jointly filed a climate lawsuit challenging the "Regulations on the Installation of Renewable Energy Generation Facilities for Electricity Users with Certain Contract Capacities," commonly known as the "High Electricity Consumers Clause."

Yong'an Mine Development Case in Yilan

In June 2020, the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) recognized significant potential impacts of the Yong'an Mine development project and decided to proceed to the second phase of environmental impact assessment (EIA). However, residents alleged that the development company deliberately concealed environmental information about the area. Furthermore, during the EPA's site inspection, they did not actually survey the proposed mining route as stated in the environmental impact statement (EIS). This discrepancy raised concerns about procedural irregularities. Residents found these discrepancies unacceptable and commissioned the Environmental Jurists Association (EJA) to file an appeal against the decision.

Vietnam Formosa Steel Plant Lawsuit

In April 2016, the Formosa Ha Tinh Steel Corporation, a subsidiary of the Formosa Plastics Group, caused a massive marine pollution incident in the waters near Ha Tinh Province, Vietnam, due to the discharge of toxic wastewater. This incident led to the deaths of a large number of fish, severely impacting the livelihoods of tens of thousands of people and sparking a series of unseen human rights abuses. The news of the marine pollution incident immediately triggered widespread discontent among the Vietnamese people. Local residents and other supporters took to the streets in peaceful protests, demanding that Formosa Ha Tinh Steel disclose information about the pollutants and environmental testing results and take responsibility for the pollution incident. However, the protests were met with strong suppression by the Vietnamese government. Hundreds of journalists and human rights defenders were assaulted, detained, and even sentenced, leading to intense clashes between law enforcement and protesters.

The Wan-Tan Self-Initiated Urban Land Rezoning Project in Xindian District, New Taipei City

EJA took over the Wan Tan Self-Developed Land Rezoning Case in Xindian District, New Taipei City in 2018. The location of the case, "Wan Tan," is situated in the vicinity of Bitan in Xindian District, New Taipei City. Wan Tan, a large flat area where the Xindian River meanders through before reaching the old streets, can be seen as a lush green space from the Bitan Suspension Bridge. This piece of land is not adjacent to the old streets of Xindian.


The Wan Tan Self-Developed Land Rezoning project plans to build a residential area for thousands of residents and construct two bridges to connect the surrounding areas. However, Wan Tan is highly likely a floodplain. Constructing residential areas and building retaining structures would essentially encroach upon the river, reducing the waterway area during floods. This poses unnecessary risks to the residential areas across Wan Tan and the downstream old streets of Xindian. Discussions on flood risk have repeatedly become the focus of attention at every stage of the environmental impact assessment (EIA) meetings.


Despite the mentioned risks, on August 16, 2021, the Wan Tan case passed the review of the New Taipei City Environmental Protection Bureau once again. After discussions with the parties involved, EJA decided to file an appeal against the decision of this EJA. The legal team will continue to safeguard Wan Tan through judicial litigation channels.


Improper Development Case of Tainan Xigang Outer Ring Road

The planning for the Tainan Xigang Outer Ring Road began with the third comprehensive review of the Xigang Urban Plan in 1998. By the fourth comprehensive review in 2006, the road's width was proposed to be widened to 24 meters to accommodate increased functionality. However, since the previous comprehensive review of the urban plan, there have been no revisions or changes to the plan for the eastern section of the outer ring road. Despite the declining population and traffic flow in the Xigang area, the Tainan City Government continues to insist on the construction of the "Xigang District Eastern Outer Ring Road" to alleviate traffic congestion in the urban area.


However, since EJA's involvement in the lawsuit, several errors and misrepresentations in the Tainan City Government's traffic impact assessment report have been identified. Additionally, there have been violations of the necessity for expropriation, including the destruction of ecologically rich old tree clusters and the valuable century-old Taiwan Sugar Railway relics.


We express our gratitude to lawyers Su Weilun, Chen Pin'an, and Zhang Jiawei for their professional assistance. The expropriation lawsuit is still ongoing, and we will not abandon any leads, ensuring that an unnecessary and insufficiently beneficial outer ring road does not take away the peaceful life and historical memory of the local residents.

Pingtung Fuxin Agricultural Machinery Factory Case

The Fuxin Agricultural Machinery Case in Taishan Village, Pingtung, involves the construction of a factory on agricultural land. Taishan Village is located in a water quality protection zone, making it crucial for the government to rigorously monitor any factory developments in the area. The water quality in this area is so pristine that even ants come to drink, and it serves as one of the water sources for self-service water stations from Tainan to Pingtung.


EJA assisted local residents in filing an administrative lawsuit with the Kaohsiung High Administrative Court to revoke the conclusion of the environmental impact assessment (EIA) review. This involved convening 8 lawyer team meetings, holding 2 press conferences, and attending court sessions 7 times (preparation sessions included). The first-instance verdict was issued on February 27, 2019, resulting in defeat. After discussions between the legal team and the residents, the decision was made not to appeal and instead to form a local monitoring group to strictly oversee whether the factory engaged in any illicit discharge. This case is officially concluded.

Kaohsiung Xinyuan Farm Shennan Iron Wire Development Case

The controversy surrounding the environmental impact assessment (EIA) of the Shennan Iron Wire Company's establishment has been ongoing for a long time, facing strong opposition from local residents. However, despite the heartfelt objections from local farmers, the Kaohsiung Environmental Protection Bureau arrogantly pushed through the EIA review. In 2014, the first EIA review was approved, but through the efforts of EJA's legal team, the Supreme Administrative Court revoked the EIA with Judgment No. 111 of 2018, acknowledging flaws in the process. Surprisingly, without thoroughly addressing communication issues with residents, the Kaohsiung Environmental Protection Bureau hastily approved the Shennan establishment EIA again in less than two months, reigniting the dispute.


EJA's legal team has doubts about the feasibility of Shennan's conversion of originally planned 10% process wastewater discharge to full recovery through reverse osmosis systems. Upon examination by technicians and legal experts, various data discrepancies were found in the EIA documents, including miscalculations of chloride and chemical oxygen demand, as well as air pollution emissions. Additionally, EJA's legal team advocates that since the first EIA for Shennan was revoked and significant changes were made to the EIA report, the local community should be entitled to an open public hearing, adhering to citizen participation procedures as required by law.

Dry Cask Storage Tank for Nuclear Fuel
The Miaoli Yuenli 20 Anti-wind Turbine Activists Criminal Case

Amendment of Regulations

EJA mobilizes legal professionals, scholars, civil society groups, and others to form working groups that draft more progressive environmental regulations. Through political campaigns, we advocate to administrative agencies, support local organizations, engage in social communication, and participate in conferences, among other activities. EJA aims to ensure the protection of both the environment and human rights.

Marine Conservation Law Amendment Task Force
Administrative Litigation Act Urban Planning Special Chapter Amendment Task Force
Renewable Energy Electricity Sales Issue Study Group
Hearing System Reform Task Force
Noise Control Reform Task Force
Campground Legislation Amendment Task Force
Toxic Chemical Management and Information Disclosure Task Force

Establishment of Environmental Consultant Network and Interactive Platform

Based on the objectives of our association, we aim to expand our environmental consultant network worldwide through fostering connections, organizing visitation activities, participating in or hosting international seminars and conferences, and engaging in collaborations with experts and scholars from other countries or international organizations. We seek to draw upon similar case handling experiences, study legislative examples from other countries, and examine international regulations to enhance our association's global environmental consultancy network.

Marine Conservation Law Amendment Advocacy Group

EJA, along with the Marine Conservation Law Amendment Advocacy Alliance, strongly urges the Legislative Yuan to take proactive action during the last legislative session of this year. We aim to push forward the most crucial aspect of marine conservation, empowering the Ocean Commission to truly implement the conservation of marine biodiversity and restore marine ecosystems. This empowerment will ensure that marine conservation progresses hand in hand with industrial development.

Supervision Alliance for Formosa Ha Tinh Steel Corporation
Executive Committee for Monitoring the Implementation of Human Rights Conventions Alliance