Binh Duong has a dirty problem

October 18, 2010 | 09:10
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Enterprises’ increasing environmental pollution is leaving southern Binh Duong province authorities in a bind.

More serious national pollution cases are coming to light

The province’s people’s committee vice chairman Tran Van Nam said despite inspections, local authorities had failed to control province-based enterprises’ discharge of waste water and solid waste into the environment.

Meanwhile, a representative of Binh Duong Provincial Department of Natural Resources and Environment’s (DoNRE) Environmental Protection Agency, in charge of directly examining local enterprises’ and industrial parks’ environmental protection, said it was difficult to curb local enterprises’ environmental violations.

Last week, the local environmental police found Dong An 1 Industrial Park and woodwork manufacturing company Hoang Thang within the park in Thuan An district discharging untreated toxic waste water into the environment. The cases are now under further investigation. In mid-June, 2010, the DoNRE and the people’s committee trumpeted a blacklist of 91  industrial establishments and enterprises causing serious environmental pollution. They were required to address their violations by July 30, 2010. However, up to mid-August this year, only four of them met the local authorities’ requirements.

“The rest of them will be punished soon. More inspections will be launched by the year’s end,” DoNRE vice director Vu Thi Ngoc Hanh said.

Cao Ba Khoat, director of Hanoi-based K&Associates law firm, said increased environmental pollution resulted from authorities’ unceasing hunt for investment, without due attention to strictly appraising enterprises’ environmental protection reports and carrying out inspections.

“Not only Binh Duong, but also many other provinces now must pay an expensive price for this hunt,” Khoat said.

In late May, 2010, three Taiwanese-backed companies - gas cooker producer Taung Liang, tape producer Jorn Technology and knitting webbing band producer Cosmos Knitting International were found damaging the environment for years in the province’s Viet Huong Industrial Park. A Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment survey stated that though this park’s waste water treatment system can handle 2,000 cubic metres per day, only 300cm of waste water was discharged into this system by enterprises at the park.

In July last year, the Philippines’ San Miguel Pure Foods Vietnam was found damaging the environment, with pollutant concentrations being 263 times higher than permissible standards. The scandal affected hundreds of households, factories and rubber plantations in the province. In March, 2009, South Korean-backed Darby-CJ Genetics and Green Tech Vietnam and Taiwan-Vietnam Agricultural Product in Ben Cat district, China’s Thread Vietnam in Tan Uyen district and Mori Shige in Ben Cat district were forced to temporarily shut down due to their environmental violations, while being heavily fined.

 Binh Duong is home to about 5,000 operational industrial facilities, one fifth of which are located within industrial parks.

By Thanh Tung

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