Textile firm investigated for pollution

VietNamNet Bridge – The Viet Nam Environment Administration (VEA) will collaborate with the Hai Duong Department of Environment to tackle the “environmental incident” recently caused by a Chinese textile company, said Luong Duy Hanh, director of the VEA’s Environment Protection and Control Department on Monday.


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The Pacific Crystal Textile Company, located in the Lai Vu industrial park in Hai Duong Province, was fined VND672 million (US$29,372) last week for violating regulations on wastewater treatment. — Photo kinhdoanhnet.vn


The Pacific Crystal Textile Company, located in Lai Vu industrial park in Kim Thanh District, was fined VND672 million (US$29,372) last week by the Hai Duong People’s Committee for discharging toxic wastewater with 5 technical indicators exceeding permitted thresholds, including pH and colour levels, total suspended solids (TSS), chemical oxygen demand (COD), and biochemical oxygen demand (BOD).

The severity of the case is yet to be determined, Hanh told the Tien Phong (Vanguard) newspaper.

According to Hanh, the Pacific Crystal company was not a target of inspection of the VEA’s 2016 environmental inspection plan.

The Hai Duong People’s Committee is responsible for supervising the company’s retrieval and re-treatment of the untreated wastewater, for which the VEA will provide support should problems arise.

The VEA would collaborate with the Hai Duong environmental department to revise the case, determine its level of severity and impose charges in accordance with the regulations, he said.

Currently, the company remains in operation; local authorities did not request the firm to stop its production activities after the incident.

The discharge of untreated wastewater from Pacific Crystal was caused by a leak from a wastewater pipeline that leads from the company to the detention basin of the Lai Vu industrial park, according to Vu Ngoc Long, director of the Hai Duong environmental department.

A businessman whose company is located in the park was concerned that Pacific Crystal has only been operating for a year with some 100,000 tonnes of chemicals but has already caused environmental pollution.

"It means that the risk for environmental pollution will be much higher by the time the company operates at full capacity, especially when it estimates to use three times as many chemicals as the Taiwanese steel corporation Formosa, which caused the disastrous mass fish death in April last year," he said.

According to Vu Xuan Dung, deputy director of the industrial park’s management board, at the beginning of 2016 -- when the company had just begun operations -- it discharged untreated wastewater a few times and killed fish in the park’s detention basin.

However, since its machinery system was being tested at the time, the company only received warnings from the park’s management board.

Pacific Crystal began operations at its $425 million plant in December 2015. It specialises in manufacturing fabrics and raw materials for textiles.

Last year, a wave of Chinese textile companies came to Viet Nam and installed textile manufacturing and textile dyeing factories in a number of provinces so as to take advantage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership in advance, said Hoang Duong Tung, deputy head of the VEA.

The VEA had warned these companies about environmental pollution risks that might sprout from their textile dyeing processes, he said.

 
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