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Areca nut processing plant causes air pollution

Update: October, 30/2017 - 14:52
In spite of being asked to shut down, the areca nut processing plant is still operational. – Photo
Viet Nam News

THỪA THIÊN-HUẾ  — An areca nut processing plant in Nam Đông District’s Hương Hoà Commnue has been causing pollution for months but the local authority has not imposed any effective sanctions.

The processing plant, managed by 46-year-old Lương Văn Công Vũ, has been built on an area of 800sq. m. sans permission.

The facility, owned by a man from Hải Phòng City, has 20 workers. Although it has been causing pollution for a long time, the local authority only conducted an investigation into it in August as residents delivered a report over the situation.

On August 14, the Nam Đông District People’s Commitee fined the plant’s authorities VNĐ40 million (US$1,700) for illegal construction and asked them to dismantle the plant. However, until now, the plant is still being operated.

Hồ Văn C., a local resident, said the facility discharges exhaust directly into the environment, causing serious air pollution. “Especially at night, the dense exhaust blows into our houses, giving us headaches, causing eye irritation and insomnia,” he added.

A Viết P., another resident, told Tiền Phong (Vanguard) newspaper, that his family had to prevent polluted smoke from entering their home, by closing the doors all day and wearing face masks, even while sleeping. However, these solutions make no difference and people’s health is seriously affected, he said.

Phan Gia Điền, head of Hương Hòa Commune People’s Committee, said there are five areca nut processing plants in the locality. However, only this plant is being operated illegally and uses sawdust and coal with alarming frequency.

According to a representative of Nam Đông District People’s Commitee, despite causing pollution, the plant buys people’s areca nuts at a high price. Therefore, they decided to help them with procedures for changing the purpose of land use so that the plant can continue consuming local areca nuts. — VNS




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