The Department of Natural Resources and Environment of central Khanh Hoa Province has told Sai Gon Giai Phong that Hyundai Vinashin Shipyard Co. (HVS) has collected and transported used nix, a toxic waste, to a warehouse for treatment, instead of dumping it into the environment as had been reported.
|A corner of Ninh Hoa District in the central province of Khanh Hoa, where Hyundai Vinashin Shipyard Co. dumps toxic waste|
The department provided feedback after SGGP had reported that HVS was continuously discharging the waste into a residential area in Ninh Hoa District.
To clear space for construction of a shipbuilding yard, HVS has collected used nix kept in the HVS factory from 2008 and transported it to a nix warehouse of the Hanoi Mineral Metallurgy Joint-Stock Company, the department said.
However, in reality, a convoy of trucks was seen June 25 transporting used nix from the HVS factory to a nix dumping ground in My A Hamlet, in Ninh Hoa District’s Ninh Thuy Commune, which is three kilometers from the factory.
The new waste was unloaded over nearly one million tons of the previously deposited waste, which remains untreated.
The department called the dumping ground “a warehouse of the Hanoi Mineral Metallurgy JS Co.”
This means that HVS has not polluted; rather, the Hanoi Mineral Metallurgy JS Co. is responsible for the environmental damage caused by nix.
HVS, a joint venture between South Korea’s Hyundai Group and the Vietnam Shipbuilding Industry Corporation, was found dumping large amounts of dangerous, untreated nix waste into the environment in 2007.
In 2008, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment asked HVS to stop using nix, a type of copper slag used in ship repair until the company implemented measures to treat used nix.
The company then promised to construct a nix treatment plant in Ninh Hoa District.
While the plant invested by the Hanoi Mineral Metallurgy JS Co. will not begin operation until next year, HVS has continued to dump the waste into the environment. Thus, local residents are forced to live amid the pollution.