Formosa contract on waste dumping violates environmental laws

The signing of a contract between the Formosa Ha Tinh Company and the Ky Anh Urban Environment Company that allows the former to dump its waste at a farm owned by the latter’s director violates environmental laws, said Vo Ta Dinh, head of the Ha Tinh provincial Department of Natural Resources and Environment.

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Industrial wastes of Formosa Ha Tinh Company.


The Formosa company was found burying 100 tonnes of wastes at the farm of Le Quang Hoa in Ky Trinh ward of Ky Anh town.

According to Dinh, the Ky Anh Urban Environment Company has no function of treating industrial wastes, including industrial sludge.

The local environment department had a meeting with the parties involved to define their responsibilities.

The companies will have to dig up and remove the 100 tonnes of waste to a site belonging to the Phu Ha Company located in Ky Anh’s Ky Tan commune, regardless of being conventional or hazardous industrial waste.

Through this incident, the department acknowledged the importance of further intensifying State management on the environment, especially in the Vung Ang Economic Zone, Dinh added.

The Taiwan-invested Formosa company, on June 30, admitted responsibility for mass fish deaths in the four central coastal provinces of Ha Tinh, Quang Tri, Quang Binh and Thua-Thien Hue between April and May.

The company promised a total compensation of 11.5 trillion VND (500 million USD) to support local fishermen to switch to other jobs and recover the polluted maritime environment.

It also pledged to absolutely deal with shortcomings and limitations in waste and wastewater treatment, improve its production technologies to ensure waste is completely treated before being discharged to the environment as required by Vietnamese State management agencies, and not to repeat such an incident.

Regular, continuous supervision over Formosa’s activities

 The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE) is regularly and continuously monitoring production activities of the Hung Nghiep Formosa Ha Tinh Steel Co Ltd, whose waste discharge caused huge environmental and social impacts in the central region of Vietnam.

Formosa Ha Tinh accepted responsibility for the mass fish deaths along the coast of the central provinces of Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri and Thua Thien-Hue. The pollution damaged about 400 hectares of coral and affected over 260,000 people who earn their living by working in sea-related activities.

The company pledged to compensate over 11.5 trillion VND (500 million USD), which will be used to support local fishermen in changing their jobs and recover the polluted maritime environment. It also vowed to deal with shortcomings and limitations in waste and wastewater treatment.

MoNRE Minister Tran Hong Ha said the ministry will set up a council for supervising Formosa’s remedies until the firm completely fulfills its commitments. The MoNRE will also build a modern marine environment monitoring system to detect environmental changes in a timely manner and take countermeasures.

Although the company pledged to replace the production technology it is applying with more environmentally friendly equipment, the change will take three years to be completed. Hence, MoNRE has demanded Formosa improve its wastewater treatment system to ensure all treated wastewater will meet Vietnam’s standards before being released to the sea.

Aside from the system automatically supervising six wastewater parameters as regulated in MoNRE’s permit granted to Formosa, Ha Tinh province’s administration also ordered the company to install more equipment to monitor six other parameters and automatically take wastewater samples.

If the statistics exceed the permissible levels, the discharge system will automatically pump wastewater back to storage tanks.

The ministry will also keep a close watch on the treatment of exhaust fumes and solid waste released by the company, Ha added.

VNA

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