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Inspection on polluted cement factories and thermal-power plants begins

Update: October, 10/2016 - 10:42
The Ministries of Industry and Trade and Natural Resources and Environment will inspect cement manufacturing factories and thermal-power plants that pose a high risk of contamination. — Photo cafef.vn

HÀ  NỘI – The Ministries of Industry and Trade and Natural Resources and Environment will inspect cement manufacturing factories and thermal-power plants that pose a high risk of contamination.

A joint delegation from the two ministries will look into production and waste treatment facilities of the factories.

Trần Tuấn Anh, Minister of Industry and Trade, has instructed corporations under his ministry to provide information on environmental protection for the media to ensure the public have an objective view of businesses’ efforts in environmental protection.

He also asked the corporations to consider establishing a specialised department on environment work for large-scale enterprises.

Regarding environmental assessment, the minister required contractors and investors to complete environmental protection projects in accordance with their commitments stated in environmental impact assessment in the 6 month trial period before starting operation officially. They were supposed to publicise information on the trials so that local authorities and residents could supervise it.

Management of hazardous waste and wastewater should be strengthened.

Anh also asked the corporations to be responsible for waste generated from production activities of the plants and comply with environmental regulations.

Earlier, at a Thursday meeting with leaders of big corporations involved in power plants, coal mines and mineral exploitation, the minister ordered all businesses to not “trade the environment for their projects”.

He said that factories that violated environmental protection regulations and impact the lives of locals would be shut down.

The meeting followed reports of an increasing number of thermal-power plants in the country, causing public concern.

“I have read articles, comments on mainstream news sites and social networks, I was very surprised to see opinions repeatedly on choosing between steel and fish,” Anh said.

The environmental accident caused by Hưng Nghiệp Formosa Ha Tinh Steel Company should be considered a lesson for corporations, he said.

Protecting the environment and reducing environmental pollution was one of the top criteria for sustainable development, he said.

Environmental preservation should be considered while effectively exploiting natural resources, he said.

Emphasising that environmental destruction is a crime, Anh requested businesses to address all matters relating to the environmental pollution raised by the press recently.

“We must do that or we will lose the trust of the people”, he said.

Trần Văn Lượng, head of Industrial Safety Techniques and Environment Agency, under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, said inspections conducted by the agency and relevant units on 29 facilities in the industry and trade sector showed that most enterprises observed the law on environmental protection and completed environmental impact assessments.

However, he said, many businesses haven’t met environmental protection standards and some have not been permitted to discharge wastewater or exploit water.

Lương blamed these shortcomings on low competence of consultant firms in completing environmental impact assessment and loose co-ordination between project management units and operating units. – VNS

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