Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — HCM City has improved environmental protection by completing a legal framework for the purpose and, in recent times, refusing licences for polluting plants and generally tightening environment management and oversight, and improving management of rivers and canals.
The Department of Natural Resources and Environment has held a series of workshops on environment management, penalised environmental violators, especially those dumping untreated waste directly into water bodies.
The city has 15 industrial and processing parks, all with wastewater treatment systems, which treat around 44,300 cubic metres daily.
In early 2016 all the parks installed systems to measure the quality of wastewater after treatment and directly linked them to the natural resources and environment department.
Besides, once every half-year, the department checks the quality of air and water around the parks.
At industrial clusters, which usually do not have investors in infrastructure, including wastewater treatment systems, the checks are done more frequently by the department and local authorities.
Elsewhere, the volumes of household solid wastes have been increasing. Last year, three million tonnes of solid waste were treated, a 10 per cent increase from 2015.
The city ran a pilot programme in several districts to segregate household solid wastes and then expanded it around the city.
Management of harmful industrial solid wastes has also been tightened. They are held in containers in a separate area before being moved to treatment facilities.
Yet, despite all these efforts, environmental pollution continues to plague the city, especially in the form of dumping wastewater and solid wastes directly into rivers and canals.
The city has fostered public education, improved oversight and stepped up inspections, and made penalties severe.
In a report in response to the Ministry of Natural Resource and Environment’s query about the city’s environmental actions, authorities said they are drafting master plans for bio-diversity and water resource management for up to 2030 and solid waste treatment and management for up to 2025, and investigating all direct and indirect dumping of wastes in water bodies.
They also wanted the ministry to issue regulations enabling various agencies to work together for environmental inspections, simplify environmental administrative procedures, increase penalties for violating enterprises and offer support to factories seeking to move their facilities out of residential areas. — VNS