Legal loopholes weaken management of air pollution
VietNamNet Bridge - Despite great efforts to control air quality, air pollution is still high. Many experts blame legal loopholes and weak enforcement for the problem. 


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Reports from the Environment Monitoring Center show a high concentration of dust in Hanoi and HCMC in the first three months of the year. 

Hanoi had 37 days with a PM 2.5 concentration higher than the national standard limit and 78 days with a PM 2.5 concentration higher than WHO standards.

The PM 2.5 concentration in HCMC was lower than Hanoi, but it was still higher than WHO standards on 78 days. 

In the first quarter of the year, the number of hours with AQI (air quality index) at ‘harmful to health’ level was 15 times higher than the same period last year. 

Deputy Chair of the National Assembly Office Do Manh Hung said that WHO has repeatedly warned that Vietnam has high air pollution level compared with other countries in Asia Pacific. In Vietnam, half of the days in a year have low air quality. 

Despite great efforts to control air quality, air pollution is still high. Many experts blame legal loopholes and weak enforcement for the problem. 

According to Le Hoai Nam, director of the Pollution Control Department under the General Directorate of Environment, the legal framework on air quality control is not in harmony, and has not caught up with the appearance of new sources of air pollution.

There are no regulations on the monitoring of enterprises’ emissions during operations, and the emission licensing system has not been implemented. 

Moreover, there are no plans for air quality management at the central and local levels.

Vietnam has standards for emissions, but lacks different standards for specific sectors, while some regulations don’t fit the real situation. 

Meanwhile, enforcement of laws and regulations is not high.

The producers of emissions are under the management of different ministries, including MOIT, MOT and MARD. 

According to Nam, in 2007, MONRE, when releasing the national environment report, proposed to write a law to protect the air environment. However, no further steps have been taken.

Nghiem Vu Khai, deputy chair of VUSTA, commented that in the currently applied Environment Protection Law, the provisions about the air environment protection are modest. He thinks it is necessary to have a law on clean air and specific provisions to be able to better control air quality.

If such a law is created, individuals, enterprises and organizations which discharge emissions would have to pay to re-clean the air, while ministries will have better plans to control air quality. 


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Thien Nhien

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