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Vedan admits to polluting parts of Thi Vai River

Update: December, 15/2009 - 10:27

HCM CITY — The monosodium glutamate producer Vedan Viet Nam has admitted to discharging untreated waste into the Thi Vai River that polluted an 11-kilometre stretch of the waterway in southern Dong Nai Province.

Vedan General Director Yang Kun Hsiang was quoted by Nguoi Lao dong (The Labourer) newspaper saying that it bore responsibility for only 60 to 70 per cent of the river’s pollution.

According to the HCM City National University’s Institute for the Environment and Natural Resources, which analysed the source of pollution, Vedan’s proportion was 89 to 98 per cent.

The results of the analysis were discussed by the institute’s scientists who met last Friday in Ha Noi at a working session with representatives from Vedan, the Viet Nam Environmental Administration and Dong Nai and Ba Ria-Vung Tau provinces and HCM City authorities.

Vedan was responsible for the pollution of 2,700ha in seafood cultivation areas in Dong Nai and Ba Ria-Vung Tau provinces and HCM City, they said.

The areas include Dong Nai’s Phuoc An, Long Tho, Long Phuoc and Phuoc Thai communes, Ba Ria-Vung Tau’s My Xuan and Phuoc Hoa communes, and Thanh An Commune in HCM City.

Vedan admitted that it had heavily polluted the river’s main waterway, but denied polluting the river’s branches and areas in the river’s basin.

The institute and related agencies said they would show other clear evidence to prove Vedan was the main polluter.

“We collected detailed numbers on this case, month by month, and planned to examine them specifically in the next few weeks to convince Vedan,” said Luong Duy Hanh, deputy chief inspector of the Environmental Administration.

Professor Dr Le Quoc Hung of the Viet Nam Institute for Sciences and Technology said water quality examined in November in the river had improved after Vedan stopped its release early this year.

Hsiang told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that Vedan would consider paying compensation to farmers after working with the Environmental Administration to determine the level of pollution. It would then report to the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources.

The ministry’s conclusion, according to Hsiang, will be the basis for estimating the financial loss of farmers and the compensation rate by Vedan.

In November, Vedan paid more than VND127 billion (US$6 million) to Dong Nai Province’s Natural Resources and Environment department for violating State regulations and causing environmental damage. — VNS

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