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Environmental inspections intensified

Update: July, 26/2016 - 10:30
Untreated wastewater caused fish death. — Photo 
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI – The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE) has been intensifying inspections of “hot spot” areas in northern provinces of Thái Nguyên and Bắc Giang, and the central city of Đà Nẵng, where environmental pollution is said to be reaching record highs. 

The ministry said yesterday that inspections were ordered by Minister Trần Hồng Hà after residents reported environmental violations to the ministry.

As part of its inspection of Núi Pháo Mining Company Ltd in Thái Nguyên Province, which was reportedly causing serious pollution affecting the living conditions of residents in Đại Từ District, the ministry last week met with Thái Nguyên Province People’s Committee and heard a report about the violators.

The provincial People’s Committee said it would ask Núi Pháo to take appropriate measures to prevent and solve the environmental problems it has caused.

Based on the result of inspections, the ministry asked the company to assess the impact caused by its operations to the environment and living conditions of local residents at hamlets 3 and 4 in Hà Phương Commune, Đại Từ district, who might need to be evacuated. 

The company was also requested to provide a specific report detailing the scale, capacity, processing and technologies of its mining activities, as well as changes made in adherence to the approved environmental impact report. It is also directed to install an automatic environment monitoring system. 

The provincial People’s Committee is also asked to report on Núi Pháo’s implementation of evacuation and resettlement plans in all areas affected by the company’s project. 

On July 18, the ministry issued a decision to inspect Á Cường Group in Sơn Đông District, Bắc Giang Province. An interdisciplinary inspection group was formed for the task. 

Three days later, an inspection group from the Việt Nam General Administration of Environment, led by deputy head of the Department for Environment Protection Control, Hoàng Văn Vy, announced a decision to examine 30 firms in Đà Nẵng. 

Waste water causes fish deaths

Chu Lai Soda Processing JSC Company has been caught discharging untreated wastewater into the nearby Trường Giang River and neighbourhood ponds, causing mass fish deaths, MoRT inspectors reported.

The company is located in Chu Lai Open Economic Zone in Núi Thành District in the central Quảng Nam Province.

The company’s wastewater discharge was discovered and reported by the local people to the environment ministry’s inspectors two days ago.

The inspectors said the water in the canal near the company was black in colour and dead fish were floating in it.

The company does not have a licence to discharge wastewater.

In February, the company was fined VNĐ731 million (US$33,200) for the violations of wastewater discharging. But so far, the company just paid VNĐ200 million ($9,000).

This was the third time of mass fish death due to the company’s untreated wastewater since the company put into operation in June last year.

Residents have complained several times that their daily life has been disrupted by environment pollution caused by the soda company, ever since it began operations.

More than 400 households in Tam Hiệp Commune’s Đại Phú Village had been affected by the water, air and noise pollution, head of Đại Phú Village Lê Minh Sa said. — VNS



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