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MSG-maker charged with 10 violations

Update: September, 21/2008 - 00:00

MSG-maker charged with 10 violations

(22-09-2008)

DONG NAI — Dong Nai Province-based monosodium glutamate (MSG) maker Vedan Viet Nam has been charged with 10 violations of environmental and water resource regulations as well as evading waste water fee payments for the past 14 years totalling VND91.8 billion (US$ 5.74 million).

Luong Duy Hanh, director of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MNRE) ‘ s Environment Protection Department, announced the violations at a press briefing last Friday where the Taiwanese-invested company agreed to sign a report admitting the offences.

A ministry report accuses Vedan factories producing starch, MSG and lysine dumped 50 to 5,000 cu.m of untreated waste water a day, ten times more than the permitted level.

Jurisdiction of the case would be transferred to MNRE for a proposed administrative fine of VND127-130 million, said Hanh.

Pending ministry approval, inspectors may propose the Dong Nai Province People’s Committee suspend Vedan Viet Nam’s operations, he added.

Criminal charges would also be pressed against the company’s illegal construction of a covert wastewater system, Hanh said.

MNRE deputy minister Tran Hong Ha said the further inspections are underway and a decision on prosecution will be announced after assembling sufficient evidence.

For its part, Vedan Viet Nam vice board chairman K.H.Yang admitted the company’s many infractions when dumping untreated wastewater into the Thi Vai River and gave it apologies to the public and society.

He said Vedan Viet Nam had already lowered output by 10-20 per cent.

Yang asked his company be allowed to continue operations while seeking solutions to tackle the environmental repercussions.

He said wastewater treatment system would be expanded by mid-October at the latest and there would be more equipment to handle any subsequent environmental pollution. — VNS

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