Environmental protection must be considered the decisive factor in future operations of the Hưng Nghiệp Formosa Hà Tĩnh Iron and Steel Co (FHS), Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc said yesterday. — VNA/VNS Photo Thống Nhất
HÀ TĨNH — Environmental protection must be considered the decisive factor in future operations of the Hưng Nghiệp Formosa Hà Tĩnh Iron and Steel Co (FHS), Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc said yesterday.
The Taiwanese company will not be allowed to continue operating without ensuring environmental safety, Phúc said at a working session with authorities in the central province of Hà Tĩnh, the heads of FHS and relevant ministries and agencies.
Before the meeting, the PM inspected waste treatment facilities and production lines of the FHS at Vũng Áng economic zone to assess the company’s environmental recovery solutions following last year’s toxic spill from its plant that killed millions of fish off the coast of four provinces.
PM Phúc asked FHS to apply advanced technology and modern equipment in production to deal with the environmental pollution. He said he believed FHS will uphold its responsibility and precent a recurrence of such incidents to avoid closure.
FHS is the biggest foreign-invested project in Việt Nam with a total investment capital of over US$11 billion, but it also caused the biggest environmental catastrophe in the country, Phúc said.
He noted that FHS had accepted responsibility and taken measures to deal with the environmental impact. It has basically fixed 52 out of 53 environmental faults and installed a mmodern waste treatment system.
He entrusted the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to install environmental supervision equipment and directly monitor the company’s environmental standards. Environmental test results will be publicised.
The Ministry of Health was required to publicise quality standards for seafood at in Hà Tĩnh Province’s Kỳ Lợi commune.
Regarding the compensation of affected households, PM Phúc said the Government will continue allocating resources to create the best conditions for local people in the affected localities to resume production.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment reported that as of last October, FHS completed the installation of waste treatment facilities, and automatic wastewater and exhaust fume observation facilities, which all meet national standards. FHS built more waste treatment facilities with a total investment of over $343 million.
The company conducted test runs of its first blast furnace in May under daily supervision of relevant authorities. The company’s wastewater had been tested strictly before being discharged into the sea since last July, according to the ministry.
The ministry has co-operated with the Institute of Environmental Technology to collect test samples three times per day, and all results were within the allowed levels.
Formosa has installed 15 emission monitoring stations, which are connected to Hà Tĩnh Province’s Department of Natural Resources and Environment and the ministry for around-the-clock supervision.
A representative from FHS said it would increase the number of staff handling environmental issues from 56 to 166 and invite international experts to act as technical consultants.
About 70 tonnes of dead fish were found in the four provinces, affecting more than 260,000 people who earn their living from the sea. — VNS