HCMC to raise environmental protection fee against strong opposition
VietNamNet Bridge - The HCMC Department of Natural Resources and Environment plans to raise the environmental protection fee on industrial waste, but some experts disagree about the plan. 


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HCMC plans to raise environment the protection fee on industrial waste water



HCMC collects VND8 billion a year from environmental protection fees. As stipulated in Decree 154, production workshops with wastewater volume of less than 20 cubic meters per day pay VND1.5 million a year, while factories with more than 20 cubic meters of waste water a day pay VND1.5 million plus an additional fee based on the total wastewater volume and pollutant content.

The calculation method used, however, is not in correspondence with the discharged volume.

The HCMC environment department has suggested applying a fixed fee of VND1.5 million to production workshops with wastewater capacity of less than 5 cubic meters per day. 

The fee for production workshops with more than 5 cubic meters of wastewater would be calculated based on the K coefficient (wastewater flow). The fee would be proportional to the pollutant content found in waste water.

The HCMC environment department has suggested applying a fixed fee of VND1.5 million to production workshops with wastewater capacity of less than 5 cubic meters per day. 

According to HCMC authorities, there are 2,790 production workshops in the city paying environmental protection fees for wastewater (143,430 cubic meters per day). 

However, healthcare establishments with medical wastewater (22,260 cubic meters per day) and solid waste treatment establishments (7,880 cubic meters) are not subject to the environmental protection fee.

The environment department estimates that 3,310 production workshops would have to pay fees, totaling VND60 billion a year. 

Of this amount, 25 percent would be used to pay for services and fee collection management, while the remaining 75 percent would be transferred to the local budget to be disbursed for environmental projects.

Speaking about the department’s plan, Tong Huu Chau, member of the HCMC Advisory Board for Science, Technology and Environment Issues, said the K coefficient was an unreasonable measuring method. He said there must be a difference up to tens of times between K coefficients applied to different groups of fee payers, because many production workshops and factories spend tens of billions of year to run their environmental treatment systems.

He said the method of identifying the wastewater flow is unclear, and the environmental department lists only six toxic substances but the figure is actually higher.

Tran Thanh Hong, deputy general director of Tan Thuan Company, which runs Tan Thuan EPZ (export processing zone) , confirmed that his company had invested hundreds of billions of dong on a concentrated waste water treatment system, and pays tens of millions of dong a month to operate the system.
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