Seminar assesses environmental damage caused by Sonadezi

 

 

 

The Department of Natural Resources and Environment in Dong Nai Province invited scientists and state management units on March 9 to a seminar to evaluate and analyse the causes and scale of environmental pollution in the Ba Cheo Canal.

 

Of late, the local people of Long Thanh District in Dong Nai Province had complained about the pollution levels from wastewater spewing from the nearby Sonadezi Long Thanh Company in southern Dong Nai Province.  About 270 households in the district have asked for VND19 billion in compensation from the company after suffering losses caused by the wastewater to their aqua farms and orchards.

 

Vo Van Chanh, Vice Director of the Department of Natural Resources and Environment in Dong Nai Province said that after Anti-Environment Crime Prevention and Control Department under the Ministry of Public Security had fined Sonadezi in October 2011, the Dong Nai People’s Committee had instructed relevant organs to prepare a report on the pollution levels in the Ba Cheo Canal.

 

In the seminar, several environment experts and organs put forth their viewpoints on the case, notably the report made by the Ho Chi Minh City-based Institute of Environment and Resources, entrusted to evaluate the effects of pollution on local farmers living around the Ba Cheo Canal in Bien Hoa City and in Long Thanh District.

 

Ba Cheo Canal is heavily polluted with wastewater discharged from the Sonadezi Company reservoir (Photo: SGGP)

After several months of investigation, the Natural Resources and Environment Institute under the HCMC National University has issued a scientific report to the provincial Department of Natural Resources and Environment, concluding that the poorly-treated wastewater discharged by the plant has indeed caused serious pollution to the Ba Cheo Canal.

 

The Institute analysis shows that wastewater discharged by the company from 2008 until August last year polluted an area of nearly 114 hectares along the canal, which flows into the Dong Nai River, and greatly affected local farming.

 

In its report, the institute said about 113 hectares of the 682.8 hectares of the canal basin had been contaminated.

 

Based on these results, the institute has proposed that the provincial authorities set up a Steering Committee for determining the number of households that have suffered from the environmental pollution and assess the total damage, to form a basis for compensation that Sonadezi must pay to them.

 

As for damage to crops and poultry, Sonadezi should negotiate with those who have been affected and reach an agreement on the amount, since the damage has also been caused by other factors besides the pollution caused by the company, the institute suggested.

 

Meanwhile, the provincial Department of Natural Resources and Environment, working with relevant agencies in assessing the report, will soon define adequate compensation for farmers.

 

Vo Van Chanh, Deputy Director of the provincial Department of Natural Resources and Environment, said the agency will work with the institute to resolve the pollution problem soon.

 

In 2011, the Sonadezi company was fined VND405 million ($19,440) for violating environmental protection law.

 

Source SGGP - Translated by Dan

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