HÀ NỘI – Head of Government Office Mai Tiến Dũng asked the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE) to quickly decide and announce the disciplinary measures against responsible individuals and organisations in the Formosa environmental incident earlier this year.
He made these claims at a meeting between the Prime Minister’s task force and the ministry to review the latter’s implementation of Government-assigned tasks relating to the spill.
According to the minister, also head of the task force, Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc has requested MoNRE to examine and assess the responsibility of oganisations and individuals involved in permitting the Taiwanese-owned Hưng Nghiệp Formosa Hà Tĩnh Steel Company to discharge wastewater, those involved in the discharge itself and those responsible for approving the environmental impact assessment report of the Formosa project .
In the recent working session of the 14th National Assembly (NA), environmental minister Trần Hồng Hà promised alongside members of both the NA and Government to impose punishment on responsible organisations and persons and make the information public.
“Not keeping the promise is unacceptable," he said.
“I request that the minister report the progress of the job. Keeping it waiting too long to be done will adversely affect the Government’s command on the issue,” Minister Dũng said.
In response, Minister Hà said the ministry had carried out the job right after the incident occurred. He added that the ministry is co-operating with the Party Central Committee’s Inspection Commission to define violations and will impose disciplinary measures based on the conclusion of the inspection team.
“We are urging to speed up the process. After receiving the Politburo’s opinions on collective and personal responsibilities, we will give further consideration,” Hà said.
Minister Dũng also urged MoNRE to accelerate the project of building a sea water monitoring and warning system along the central coast. In addition, he asked the ministry to focus on compensating for damages of organisations and individuals and fishery-related issues.
MoNRE Deputy Minister Nguyễn Thị Phương Hoa said the ministry has established an expert team and co-operated with international experts to carry out the project.
However, it takes time, because the project is carried out in many provinces and requires careful checks and considerations to ensure the ability of localities to implement, manage and maintain the project after completion, she said.
The ministry also had to reduce the scale of investment, as it failed to mobilise enough capital for the project as its initial goals, she said.
As for the inspection of waste discharge from enterprises, Minister Hà said the ministry had checked 336 enterprises which have more than 500 cum of waste discharge.
“If we strictly adhere to the law, 90 per cent of enterprises fail to completely meet regulations. In fact, we are still unable to control wastewater, waste air and solid waste, especially at industrial complex and traditional trade villages,” he said.
The ministry is compiling a report to the Government on this issue to have an overview on the current environmental situation. – VNS