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Firm causes pollution in Thanh Hóa Province

Update: June, 02/2017 - 09:00
A limestone mine in the central province of Thanh Hóa. Without proper managment, limestone exploitation can pollute the environment. — VNA/VNS Photo Thế Duyệt
Viet Nam News

THANH HÓA — The Đức Tài Investment and Construction Joint Stock Company exploited limestone in the central province of Thanh Hóa for the past two years without taking any environmental protection measures, seriously harming local residents’ lives.

Correspondents of the Lao Động (Labour) newspaper showed that houses and plants along roads in Hồi Xuân Commune were covered with dust. Stones and gravel were scattered along the two sides of the roads.

The company also used mines to take stones several hundred metres from the residential quarter, making a great amount of dust. The dust quickly flew into the residential quarter. Many houses cracked.

Phạm Bá Tường, a local resident, said that the incident repeatedly occurred over past years.

Vi Thị Hiên, another resident, said that everybody lamented whenever they passed the area, because it was full of dust on sunny days and muddy with stone on rainy days.

Hà Văn Long, also a resident, added that since the stone mine began work, residents’ lives have been seriously affected.

“On sunny days, we even have to wear mufflers when sitting inside our house. We try to spray water to reduce the condition, but it is not effective,” he said.

Tường said that local residents have repeatedly flocked to the enterprises, asking them to improve the pollution condition, but the condition was improved for several days at a time.

Local residents sent letters to the provincial authorities, asking for guidance so that the enterprise conducts environmental protection measures, reduces the loading capacity of stone transporting lorries and reduces the amount of mines exploiting stones. They also proposed the enterprise not to process the stones at night and spray dew over the area to limit the dust.

Speaking about the case, Trịnh Đức Du, head of the Quan Hóa District Department of Natural Resources and Environment, said that the Đức Tài Investment and Construction Joint Stock Company was licensed to exploit limestone as construction materials since February 2015 by the Thanh Hóa Province People’s Committee. They are allowed to do the work within 13 years.

Inspectors from the provincial Department of Natural Resources and Environment, the Department of Construction, the Department of Industry and Trade and local authorities on May 23 checked the company’s work.

The inspection showed that the company caused environmental pollution, affecting local residents’ lives.

The inspectors asked the company to conduct environmental protection measures and use mines to exploit the limestone following their approved project.

The company must temporarily stop their work until it fulfills its plan on environmental protection, send the plan to the provincial Department of Natural Resources and Environment for approval. It can only continue its work when the department allows.

Trần Đức Tài, manager of the Đức Tài company mines, admitted that the company did not protect the environment.

“We promise to improve the polluted condition soon and fulfill the task that local authorities required,” he said. — VNS

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