Seafood processors pollute port town
HCM CITY — Seafood processing companies are creating serious water pollution problems in Kien Giang Province.
Waste treatment systems in the Kien Giang Province fishing port of Tac Cau are unable to meet the demand placed on them by seafood processors in the area. — VNA/VNS Photo Trang Duong
They are known to be discharging untreated waste into the environment, but so far no one has been punished.
The discharge comes from seafood processing establishments located around Tac Cau fishing port.
It is said to be seriously affecting the livelihood of thousands of people in Chau Thanh District.
The violations were discovered during a recent inspection by a National Assembly delegation, Kien Giang People's Committee and the provincial Department of Natural Resources and Environment.
They met to review the enforcement of policies and regulations on environmental protection in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta province.
The provincial environmental department said most of the inspected companies violated environmental rules. Either they had no waste-water treatment systems or the toxicity of their effluent was above the permitted standard.
At a national level, the fast development of industrial parks has put pressure on the environment. About 70 per cent of more than 1 million cubic metres of waste-water a day is discharged directly from the parks into the environment without being treated.
The Seafood Processing industrial park in Tac Cau is said to be one of these.
Only nine of the 33 seafood processing factories in the port are said to have a proper waste-water treatment system, according Le Hong Khanh, director of the port's management board.
However, he said even these centres only seemed to operate when they knew authorities were coming to make an inspection.
The Ha Long Investment and Development Company's affiliate in Kien Giang had a treatment system, but the toxic discharges were much higher than allowed, reported Thoi Nay (Today).
Huy Nam Seafoods Company is said to operate in a similar fashion.
Tac Cau became operational in 2004 and is now the biggest fishing port in Viet Nam. It covers 32ha.
But its infrastructure was built to cope with only five factories covering 9ha. To attract more investment, the port has since encouraged 27 more factories to the area.
The central waste-water treatment system has a capacity of 400cu.m a day compared to the demand for more than 5,000cu.m a day.
According to Nguyen Thi Kim Be, deputy head of the National Assembly delegation in charge of Kien Giang, water pollution is getting worse and no effective steps have been taken to counter the problem.
Be blamed poor management for the situation. He said official Government bodies had not been doing their job properly and that they lacked co-ordination and synchronisation.
A factory owner told Nhan Dan that the enterprises in the fishing port had to pay the State authorised management body to make a single environmental impact report, but were fined by the inspectors for not giving separate reports.
Khanh said the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development planned to build a central waste-water treatment system for the whole fishing port in 2007, but announced last year that each enterprise had to build its own treatment system. — VNS