Viet Nam News
HÀ TĨNH — A working group of environmental experts has discovered underground diesel leaks in wells located in Hương Trạch Commune’s Tân Phúc Village in the central province of Hà Tĩnh.
Phan Quốc Lập, head of Hương Khê District’s Natural Resources and Environment Department in HàTĩnh Province, told zing.vn online newspaper .
The working group, set up on the order of Hà Tĩnh Province People’s Committee Deputy Chairman Đặng Ngọc Sơn, was responsible for guiding, inspecting and supervising the treatment of oil-contaminated wells.
Lập said the group had dug four deep holes outside the wells which showed the presence of polluted diesel, considered a hazardous waste.
“On April 19, the functional forces used a drilling machine to dig four 3-5m deep holes. We noticed a light-yellow liquid at the bottom of the holes, which emitted a strong smell of oil,” he said. “We took the liquid for further tests and found that it was combustible,” he added.
On April 20, upon further investigation, the working group discovered an underground oil tank of Viet-Laos Vilaco Company (located in Hương Trạch Commune). When it was dug up, the group found cracks in the tank.
“We cannot confirm the cause of this phenomenon. However, if a company causes oil leakage, the relevant authorities will strictly handle the matter and claim damages to the affected people,” Lập said.
On April 8, Nguyễn Xuân Hải, a resident of Tân Phúc Village, noticed the smell of oil in his well. A day later, six other families in the village found their wells contaminated with oil. Two of them were severely polluted.
Hải said he and other families suspected the oil leakage to be caused by a plaster area of the Viet-Laos Vilaco Company. They had requested the local authorities to dig down to find the cause.
According to residents, the plaster area was first an oil-supply area, with each oil tank containing some 25,000 litres of oil.
In July 2017, an oil tank was damaged, resulting in an oil spill which destroyed rice and vegetables in the surrounding fields, said a villager.
The company, however, denied the oil leak and said the underground tank had been unoperational since October 2017. But according to Đỗ Khoa Văn, director of the Hà Tĩnh Province’s Department of Science and Technology, inspectors had discovered cracks in some of the oil containers.
As the next step, Hương Khê District authorities will sign a contract with a local company that would use specialised equipment to absorb the diesel-polluted water in the contaminated wells. The water would be transported to a waste treatment plant, Lập said. — VNS