Polluting trio named to spark quick action

February 21, 2011 | 08:00
(0) user say
An ultimatum has been given to three environmental polluters at southern Tan Phu Trung Industrial Park.
illustration photo - source: tanphutrung-ip.com

The Ho Chi Minh City Export Processing and Industrial Zone Authority’s (Hepza) vice director Ngo Anh Tuan said Hong Kong-backed cloth washing firm Excel Kind company, local mattress producer Van Thanh Mousse and Foam Company, and textile and dying firm Thang Long Company must connect their waste waster treatment facilities with the park’s $15 million waste water treatment system before March 31, 2011.

“We have once again required them to stop their environmental violations.

If they refuse, they will earn heavy punishments such as big fines, permanent power cuts and water provision cuts under the government’s Decree 117/2009/ND-CP dated December 31, 2010 on sanctioning violations in environmental protection,” Tuan said.

“These punishments are tough enough to stop operation of the firms,” he said. “Local environmental inspection teams are now ready to inspect them.”

The three firms are reported to be daily discharging 3,600 cubic metres of waste water, of which Excel Kind and Thang Long discharge 1,000 and 1,500 cubic metres, respectively, into the environment.

Particularly, Van Thanh Company is famous for its high-quality export-oriented mattress products. Having three plants and over 39 branches throughout Vietnam, it was given the third-grade Labour Medal by the state in early last month, though its toxic water volume daily discharged into the environment was reported to be thousands of cubic metres.

Hepza has many times warned the firms of their violations since 2008 with a total fine of some VND85 million ($4,250) for violating the Law on Environmental Protection. Pollutants in waste water were reported to be tens of times higher than permissible limits.

According to Hepza, the polluters refused to connect their own waste water treatment facilities with the park’s waste water treatment facility for fear that they would have to pay more for wastewater treatment.

While the park’s treatment fee level offered to the firms was VND5,300 per cubic metre, the firms agreed to pay VND3,500 per cubic metre.

“Under Decree 88/2007/ND-CP dated May 28, 2007 on urban and industrial-park water drainage, the fee levels are made based on agreement between enterprises and industrial parks’ investors. Thus we cannot force these firms to follow Tan Phu Trung Industrial Park’s treatment fee levels. In some other industrial parks like Binh Chieu Industrial Park, the fees are far higher,” Tuan said.

“Hepza has already asked Northwest Saigon City Development Corporation, which is the park’s investor and these three firms to agree on a common waste water treatment fee level,” he said. “If no agreement is made, we may have to apply harder punishments to the polluters.”

By Nguyen Thanh


What the stars mean:

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