Deputy Prime Minister Trịnh Đình Dũng has asked for prompt inspection of reported waste dumping by the Hưng Hiệp Formosa Hà Tĩnh Steel Company, Vietnam News Agency reported yesterday.
|The black mud-like waste found at a farm in Kỳ Anh District, Hà Tĩnh Province. (Photo: SGGP)|
The request was made following recent news stories alleging that the company was found burying a huge amount of waste at a farm run by the director of an environmental company in Kỳ Anh town of central Hà Tĩnh Province.
Dũng urged the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) to co-ordinate with the provincial People’s Committee to check the information.
If it is true, measures should be taken to strictly address the case following legal regulations.
The outcomes of the inspection must be reported to the Prime Minister, he added.
Hà Tĩnh environmental police and inspectors on Monday afternoon discovered about 100 tonnes of stinking black waste at a farm in Kỳ Trinh Ward, Kỳ Anh District, while conducting a surprise inspection following reports by local residents about the appearance of waste-carrying trucks in the area.
Võ Tá Đình, director of Hà Tĩnh Department of Natural Resources and Environment, said the agency had taken samples of the waste to test.
“If the waste is identified as hazardous, the companies and persons involved will face strict punishment,” Đình said.
Lê Nam Sơn, general inspector of the department, said that Formosa had signed a one-year contract, beginning April 15 this year, with the Urban Environment Company in Kỳ Anh District to transport and dump waste in that area.
The farm where the waste was found belonged to Lê Quang Hòa, director of the Urban Environment Company, he said.
Hòa, meanwhile, told Tuổi Trẻ (Youth) newspaper that the buried waste came from a waste-treatment facility in Formosa.
“It is normal black mud, not harmful waste. It can be used to recycle or become fertiliser,” he said.
The officials of the department are expected to work with Formosa with regard to this case within this week.
Late last month, the Vietnamese government found the Taiwanese-owned Formosa responsible for massive fish deaths in four central provinces since April after it released toxic wastewater into the sea.
The leaders of the company had officially apologised to the Vietnamese government and people and promised to pay $500 million as compensation to the affected people, and to pay for the clean-up and restoration of the sea environment.
MONRE minister Trần Hồng Hà said yesterday that the body will form a council to supervise the anti-pollution commitments made by the corporation.
The minister added that a state-of-the-art marine environment monitoring system would be built to make regular assessments of the marine environment, Vietnam News Agency reported.
The system will enable State environment management bodies to be aware of changes in the marine environment and pollution risks, which would allow for early warning and prevention before incidents occur.