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VNA rumbles polluting paper firm

Update: November, 11/2013 - 09:01
Untreated waste water is discharged from the paper firm - Bac Kan Forestry Products Joint Stock Company in northern Bac Kan Province into the Cau River. — VNA/VNS Photo Nguyen Trinh – Duc Hieu

BAC KAN (VNS)— A paper production company in the northern mountainous province of Bac Kan has continued to discharge untreated waste water into the Cau River despite having been fined in late August, causing concerns for local residents.

Under observation of a Vietnam News Agency correspondent on Thursday, Bac Kan Forestry Products Joint Stock Company continues to discharge black-coloured waste water directly into the Cau River in Duc Xuan Commune, Bac Kan Township.

The frothy water had a terrible odour and is polluting a large section of the river.

Hoang Thi Ngan, a resident living near the company, said the company discharges the water into the river every day and night. Its smell is terrible and seems to be mixed with chemicals.

"It is hard breathing," she said. "The smell is unbearable, although I close all the doors".

Cao Duy Linh, another resident, said many households nearby couldn't sleep as the company discharges the water every night.

Local residents complained to the relevant authorities many times and the company was fined, but the problem is ongoing.

Colonel Trieu Dinh Hoa, head of the provincial Department of Environment Police said that the police discovered that the poisonous substances in the waste water exceeded the country's regulated levels by up to 14 times.

The company was fined VND8 million (US$376) for polluting the environment in late August. It was also required to halt its operation until its waste water treatment system was repaired and upgraded, he said.

Viet Nam News tried to contact representatives from the company but failed.

Local authorities have sent the police to investigate the matter, and will issue stricter fines if the company does not desist in its violation. — VNS


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