May, 10 2012 10:00:21

Polluting firm ends clean-up of canal

DONG NAI — The Sonadezi Long Thanh Co in the southern province of Dong Nai has completed cleaning up pollution along Ba Cheo Canal, according to Le Viet Hung, director of the province's Natural Resources and Environment Department.

Untreated waste water discharged into the canal by Sonadezi Long Thanh caused damage to local farms.

The company has pledged it will compensate local farmers as soon as a scientific impact assessment of the damage is carried out by relevant authorities. "However, it takes time to define specific damage to local aquaculture and fruit farming," said Hung.

A report on the compensation is expected to be available by the end of the second quarter of this year.

Sonadezi Long Thanh's chief executive officer Nguyen Van Tuan said the company has improved its waste water treatment system and these upgrades have been checked by relevant authorities.

The company has also set up automatic observation stations to measure the volume of waste discharges and pollution indicators, said Tuan.

He said Sonadezi would take responsibility for compensating farmers for damages according to the law.

Provincial authorities said initial calculations estimated that the untreated waste water contaminated about 114 ha of 682.8 ha of the canal's basin, and the company will be responsible for compensating for 95 per cent of losses of local aquaculture production from 2008 to August, 2011.

However, the percentage of losses related to crops and breeding activities caused by the company has yet to be determined.

Huynh Ngoc Trai, chairman of the Tam An Commune's Farmers Association, said that more than 260 petitions have been submitted to authorities demanding compensation totalling VND16 billion (US$768,000) from Sonadezi, which was responsible for treating the waste water of 42 companies in the province's Long Thanh Industrial Park.

The company was found to have discharged 9,300 cu. m of untreated waste water into the canal via three underground pipelines in August last year. — VNS

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