The waste mud illegally dumped in Ky Anh town of the central province of Ha Tinh is a mixture of industrial and hazardous waste, and both its owner, Formosa Ha Tinh Steel Co. Ltd, and the dumper must bear responsibility.
Formosa's waste is unearthed at a farm in Ky Trinh ward of Ky An town.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE) officially announced the hazard testing results on August 2.
Shortly after the dumping was detected in mid-July, the provincial People’s Committee and the MoNRE inspected the landfills at Con Tro Hill in Ky Trinh ward of Ky Anh town, Xanh (Green) Park, and the Ky Tan dumping ground.
The dumper, Ky Anh urban environment management and construction consultation joint stock company, was forced to collect all the illegally-dumped waste. The collected waste, amounting to 390.72 tonnes (with soil and rocks mixed) as of July 17, was kept at a treatment facility of the Ha Tinh Industrial Waste Processing Co. Ltd.
At the landfills, MoNRE staff took 38 samples of waste mud, 30 samples of soil, one well-water sample, and three spring water samples.
Test results show that some of the waste mud samples contained cyanide levels exceeding the permissible level of hazardous waste.
However, the surface and underground water along with soil at the dump sites and their surrounding areas have not been contaminated by the illegal waste, the ministry said.
It added that Formosa Ha Tinh company’s violations include not having measured and sorted the toxic waste volume that must be registered and managed as pursuant to Clause 5 of Article 21 of the Government’s Decree 179/2013/ND-CP. This firm also handed over hazardous waste to organisations and persons that had not been licensed to treat toxic waste over 5 tonnes, as stipulated in Point h of Clause 7 under Article 21 of the decree.
The MoNRE will fine Formosa Ha Tinh for those violations and request the company, which is also responsible for the mass fish deaths along the central coast earlier this year, to immediately settle the consequences of the illicit waste transfer.
Meanwhile, the Ky Anh company’s waste dumping showed signs of environmental crime as regulated in Article 182a of the law No. 37/2009/QH12 amending the Penal Code issued in 1999.
The firm’s violation will be further investigated by police of Ha Tinh province and handled in line with the law, the ministry added.