Viet Nam News
THANH HÓA — Up to four thousand people in Quảng Trạch Commune in Thanh Hóa Province have been suffering severe environmental pollution, reported online newspaper dantri.com.vn.
The air pollution is allegedly being caused by a waste treatment plant in neighbouring Quảng Tân Commune.
Residents of the commune complain of near-constant noxious fumes and bad odours emanating from the plant.
“The plant burns garbage day and night, causing a terrible smell, especially in hot weather,” said one local.
“In recent years, no one leaves their homes when the plant is discharging waste,” he said.
The paper reported that the plant is located near residential areas and schools in Quảng Trạch Commune.
Piles of waste were spotted around the site, and trucks carrying trash travel to and from the plant every day.
People have lodged several complaints with local authorities but the problem has not been dealt with, the paper said.
The plant was built to treat waste from Quảng Xương Township and Quảng Tân Commune, but in fact, it also collects waste from Lễ Môn Industrial Zone.
“Waste from the industrial zone includes fabric so it smells bad when it is burned,” another resident said.
“Every month, we have to pay fees for environmental services so they take out the garbage, but the plant also collects and treats waste from other places. We have to suffer the consequences,” she told the paper.
Many people in the commune have been diagnosed with respiratory diseases, she said.
Ngô Tiến Hiền, vice chairman of Quảng Trạch Commune, confirmed the problem, saying that “The plant has operated here for four or five years, directly affecting six hamlets in the commune.”
“We complained about the plant but the situation has remained the same for many years,” Hiền said.
Meanwhile, Lê Bá Sáu, chairman of Quảng Tân Commune, where the plant is located, said it belonged to Hoàng Hải Hà Environment Company which was tasked with treating waste discharged by people in the commune and neighbouring townships.
Treating waste from Lễ Môn IZ had been permitted by previous authorities because the fees collected from local residents were not enough to cover salaries for staff and operating costs of the plant, Châu said. — VNS