|The Việt Nam Lee & Man Paper Manufacturing Limited in the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Hậu Giang which has been accused of pollution following problems with its waste treatment plant. — Photo tuoitre.vn|Viet Nam News
HẬU GIANG — The environment ministry on Thursday ordered the Việt Nam Environment Administration to collaborate with Hậu Giang Province to investigate media reports about environmental pollution caused by Việt Nam Lee & Man Paper Manufacturing Limited after its waste treatment plant developed problems.
Tuổi trẻ (Youth) newspaper had reported on Thursday that a trial run of the plant at the company’s under-construction factory in the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province’s Châu Thành District caused discharge of untreated wastewater on March 7, affecting nearby households.
Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Võ Tuấn Nhân said the province’s Department of Natural Resources and Environment and other local agencies had been told to co-ordinate with the ministry’s inspection team to investigate and publish details of possible pollution.
He also instructed the company to furnish details of the plant’s trial operation.
Speaking to Tuổi trẻ, deputy director general of the VEA, Hoàng Văn Thức, said the ministry sent an inspection team to take charge of monitoring and evaluating the improvements to be made to the treatment plant next week.
The plant’s trials should be done within the factory, and no wastewater should be released into the environment, he said.
Last December the VEA allowed the factory to begin testing the treatment plant for the first time, but then stopped it due to pollution.
The US$1.2 billion factory, situated in the Phú Hữu A Industrial Cluster along the Hậu River, saw work begin in 2007, but completion has been delayed several times.
It is designed to manufacture 330,000 tonnes of pulp and 420,000 tonnes of packaging paper a year.
It is the largest paper factory in Việt Nam and one of the five largest in the world. — VNS