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The Environment Agency is not satisfied with the anticipated environmental impact Chiba Prefecture claims its development plan for part of the Sanbanze tidal flats would have on the area’s wetland, the agency head said Tuesday.
“I am not sure the prefecture has adequately reviewed the project from the perspective of land use and the area of the plan. I think there is more room for (the prefecture’s) consideration (of what we have requested),” Environment Agency chief Kayoko Shimizu told reporters at the agency following a Cabinet meeting.
The comment came in response to the prefecture’s release Monday of a revised forecast of the impact the reclamation project would have on the wetland and a list outlining the merits and difficulties of trying to build a seaside highway underground, as the agency has requested in order to minimize damage to the wetland.
The agency has repeatedly told the prefecture to pare the plan as much as possible, urged it to build the highway (Daini wangan doro) underground and questioned the necessity of the artificial seashore the prefecture is pushing.
The plan has been trimmed, following criticism from citizens and the Environment Agency, to an area of 101 hectares, less than one-seventh the size of the original 740-hectare proposal.
Sanbanze shoals and tidal flats, at 1,200 hectares in area, are one of the last remaining wetlands in Tokyo Bay and an important stopover for migratory birds.

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