Formosa Vietnam evaluated for furnace launch, one year after fish deaths


Updated : 04/04/2017 16:00 GMT + 7

Vietnam’s environment watchdog is inspecting a steel mill developed by Taiwan’s Formosa Plastics Group to decide whether or not it can put a blast furnace into use, one year after the facility’s wastewater caused mass fish deaths the along country’s central coast.

The mass fish deaths, affecting four central provinces, was first recorded on April 6, 2016, but Formosa only admitted its responsibility in June the same year, pledging US$500mn in compensation.

The Taiwanese company has promised to fix all of its violations and make sure its steel mill, located in Ha Tinh Province, follows all environmental standards and requirements set by the Vietnamese authorities.

One year on, Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper has asked the question as to how Formosa has kept its word at a regular government meeting in Hanoi on Monday, and was told that the company has been correcting its mistakes.

“Formosa has fixed 51 out of 53 violations it was found to have,” Minister and Chairman of the Government Office Mai Tien Dung told Tuoi Tre, citing a report by the environment ministry.

Minister Dung added that as required by the government, local authorities in the four affected provinces, Ha Tinh, Quang Tri, Quang Binh and Thua Thien-Hue, have completed the task of distributing the Formosa compensation to fishermen impacted by the fish deaths.

A corner of the Formosa plant construction

More than 100 metric tons of fish were killed, and the environment, jobs and economies of the four provinces were severely affected between April and May last year.

The chairman of the Government Office said Formosa is only allowed to put the steel mill into use when the company meets all requirements for a safe, disaster-free operation.

“If they cannot ensure the safety for the facility’s operation, the mill will never be allowed to go into production,” Dung said, adding that this is “the consistent view of the government with regard to the Formosa issue.”

On Monday, an inspection team from the environment ministry began a three-day examination of the Formosa plant in Ha Tinh, checking various construction units at the facility to decide whether it would be allowed to put a blast furnace into use.

Inspectors are slated to check the plant’s wastewater treatment and chemical processing systems, as well as an air pollution monitor for the furnace, which will emit smoke through 15 chimneys.

The inspection is scheduled to finish on Wednesday, after which the environment ministry officials will discuss with a group of scientists to evaluate the effectiveness of the environmental technology at the steel mill.

The evaluation result will be submitted to the government, which will then decide the fate of the blast furnace.

This entry was posted in Môi trường - Environment and tagged , , , , by Trần Đình Hoành. Bookmark the permalink.

About Trần Đình Hoành

I am an attorney in the Washington DC area, with a Doctor of Law in the US, attended the master program at the National School of Administration of Việt Nam, and graduated from Sài Gòn University Law School. I aso studied philosophy at the School of Letters in Sài Gòn. I have worked as an anti-trust attorney for Federal Trade Commission and a litigator for a fortune-100 telecom company in Washington DC. I have taught law courses for legal professionals in Việt Nam and still counsel VN government agencies on legal matters. I have founded and managed businesses for me and my family, both law and non-law. I have published many articles on national newspapers and radio stations in Việt Nam. In 1989 I was one of the founding members of US-VN Trade Council, working to re-establish US-VN relationship. Since the early 90's, I have established and managed VNFORUM and VNBIZ forum on VN-related matters; these forums are the subject of a PhD thesis by Dr. Caroline Valverde at UC-Berkeley and her book Transnationalizing Viet Nam. I translate poetry and my translation of "A Request at Đồng Lộc Cemetery" is now engraved on a stone memorial at Đồng Lộc National Shrine in VN. I study and teach the Bible and Buddhism. In 2009 I founded and still manage on positive thinking and two other blogs on Buddhism. In 2015 a group of friends and I founded website CVD - Conversations on Vietnam Development ( I study the art of leadership with many friends who are religious, business and government leaders from many countries. In October 2011 Phu Nu Publishing House in Hanoi published my book "Positive Thinking to Change Your Life", in Vietnamese (TƯ DUY TÍCH CỰC Thay Đổi Cuộc Sống). In December 2013 Phu Nu Publishing House published my book "10 Core Values for Success". I practice Jiu Jitsu and Tai Chi for health, and play guitar as a hobby, usually accompanying my wife Trần Lê Túy Phượng, aka singer Linh Phượng.

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