|Lào Cai homes affected by the mud and wastewater spillover incident at the local fertiliser factory on September 7. — VNA/VNS Photo|
LÀO CAI — The northern province’s authorities are urging local police to expedite their investigation into a waste pond failure incident a week ago at a fertiliser factory in the province.
On September 7, a gypsum waste pond of the Lào Cai DAP fertiliser factory suffered a rupture and 45,000 cu.m of acidic wastewater and mud leaked into the neighbourhoods.
The Lào Cai environment department deemed the incident the worst that has ever occurred in the province, contaminating soil, surface water and the residential households in the vicinity.
The Lào Cai People’s Committee earlier today held a meeting with local departments, the authorities of Bảo Thắng District where the incident occurred, the State-owned Việt Nam National Chemical Group (VINACHEM) and Lào Cai DAP fertiliser factory, to clarify responsibilities regarding State management.
The fertiliser factory was asked to review its entire environmental protection protocols and regulation compliance.
The province also said punishments would be levied against the factory as soon as the police investigation results are available.
VINACHEM’s representative said they were carrying out the province authorities’ orders on environmental rehabilitation and relocation of 41 households affected by the waste spillover to safer places.
Lào Cai authorities on September 7 had to deploy both military and police forces in the area to handle the incident.
700 tonnes of lime were sprayed onto the nearby rivers and streams to neutralise the acidity in the spillover.
Initial reports from the Lào Cai environment department suggested that the waste pond’s weak embankment was compromised after heavy downpours in the region. — VNS