Vietnam struggles with environmental crimes

Last update 08:40 | 10/02/2017
VietNamNet Bridge – More than 50 serious pollution cases were discovered in 2016, including the mass fish deaths in four provinces of Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri and Thua Thien-Hue in the central region.

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Seven ministries and more than 100 Vietnamese and foreign scientists spent 84 days and nights to trace down the culprit which caused the mass fish death catastrophe. The Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment (MONRE) finally gathered enough evidence to force Formosa Ha Tinh, the steel complex developer from Taiwan, to admit its behavior of discharging untreated waste water which caused mass fish deaths and serious pollution to coastal areas.

The mass fish death was raising public concern while another scandal was discovered. The Ky Anh Urban Environment Management & Construction Company was caught landfilling waste sludge, which was hazardous waste from Formosa.

Many people called for the shutdown of Formosa Ha Tinh. However, MONRE said that the soil and water environment in the waste sludge landfilling area were still safe. Ky Anh Company was prosecuted by the Ha Tinh Police.

Another environment scandal was also discovered thanks to mass fish deaths. After nearly 50 tons of caged fish bred by locals in Nghi Son Island in Thanh Hoa were found dead, MONRE examined the pipeline that brings waste water from the Nghi Son Oil Refinery and set up a team of officers to discover the cause behind the mass fish deaths.

More than 50 serious pollution cases were discovered in 2016, including the mass fish deaths in four provinces of Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri and Thua Thien-Hue in the central region.

In June 2016, a waste reservoir at a titanium exploitation site broke allowing huge amounts of toxic red mud to flood residential areas in Thuan Quy commune of Ham Thuan Nam district in Binh Thuan. MONRE then commanded to halt the operation of Tan Quang Cuong, the titanium exploiter for investigation and repair the damages.

Later, MONRE released a decision on stopping the exploitation of titanium-zircon ore in Nam Suoi Nhum area.

Vietnam now has to pay a heavy price for focus on economic development while not paying appropriate attention to environmental protection.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has said that Vietnam won’t exchange its environment for immediate benefits and won’t sacrifice its environment for investment projects.

The Prime Minister has ordered a check of all legal documents and reorganization of state management on the environment from the local to central levels, saying that the heads of localities must take responsibility for environmental problems in their localities.

Vietnam will implement policies under which polluters must pay for environmental problem settlement.

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This entry was posted in Environmental laws - Luật môi trường, 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 dotchuoinon.com on positive thinking and two other blogs on Buddhism. In 2015 a group of friends and I founded website CVD - Conversations on Vietnam Development (cvdvn.net). 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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