Industrial zones’ dirty secret

March 01, 2011 | 13:00
(0) user say
Industrial zones are continuing to discharge untreated waste-water into the environment.
illustration photo

Recently, Dak Nong Province People’s Committee, in the Central Highlands, fined Tam Thang Industrial Zone (IZ) Infrastructure Development Company around VND100 million ($4,830) for impinging on environmental protection regulations.

Chu Jut district’s Tam Thang IZ has been active for around seven years. However, it has only completed 20 per cent of work needed to keep its waste-water treatment system running.

Results of waste-water taken from the zone showed that it was at least four times above permissible pollution levels.

According to a recent survey by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment’s (MoNRE) inspection team, southern Binh Duong province took the lead nationwide in the number of environmental standard violations.

Up to 14 out of the province’s 21 zones were found  discharging untreated water into the environment, said the inspection team’s deputy head Pham Hong Son.

In Hanoi, the Environmental Crime Prevention and Fighting Police Department (C49) recently unveiled scores of businesses spoiling the environment through discharging untreated wastewater such as Nam Phong Company Limited and Tay Do Trading and Printing Company Limited in Tu Liem district’s Phu Minh IZ.

C49 chief  Nguyen Xuan Ly said around 5,800 violations were found by environmental police forces in 2010, up 27 per cent on year, resulting in fines of $1.25 million.

MoNRE said violations were expected to become more complex this year and cover the full  economic spectrum, particularly industrial production, mineral and natural resources extraction, urban environment management and food production.

A lack of decent waste-water treatment facilities is a key problem, according to the ministry.

Reality shows that it requires at least VND5 billion ($241,545) for businesses to build a waste-water treatment facility, while IZs often delay investing in waste-water treatment systems when they have yet to meet the target of having most of areas filled with investors.

By Huu Tuan

What the stars mean:

★ Poor ★ ★ Promising ★★★ Good ★★★★ Very good ★★★★★ Exceptional