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Dong Nai: Foreign-invested firm killing Thi Vai River   2008-09-15 - Viet Nam News

The clean Vedan company at the door.

 After three months lying in ambush, the environmental police caught Vedan, a Singapore-owned firm, red-handed directly discharging waste water into the Thi Vai River in the southern province of Dong Nai.

 

Director of the Dong Nai Department of Natural Resources and the Environment Le Viet Hung said: “Vedan used a two-way pumping system to discharge untreated waste water into the Thi Vai River. This act is unacceptable. We don’t know when Vedan built this system. This act is very serious; it is considered an environmental crime.”

 

Hung said in the past, inspectors of the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment found Vedan polluting the environment and this firm was fined. Dong Nai fined Vedan three times, totalling more than VND20 million ($1,300).

 

In mid 2006, the Environmental Protection Agency under the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment found Vedan directly discharging waste water into the Thi Vai River through three pipes. Vedan was fined but it repeated its crime.

 

Colonel Luong Minh Thao, Vice Head of the Environmental Police Agency, confirmed Vedan’s violation is very serious and it has caused Thi Vai’s pollution.

 

Police laid in ambush for around 3 months to collect evidence. According to the Environmental Police Agency, before Vedan was caught, this firm was discharging around 50,000cu.m of waste water into the Thi Vai River a day.

 

The sewer that discharges waste water from Vedan’s factory into the Thi Vai River.

 

On September 8, environmental police and inspectors of the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment inspected Vedan’s factory in Long Thanh district, Dong Nai province. Inspectors discovered that Vedan had installed a pumping system to discharge a large volume of waste water into the Thi Vai River. The firm’s waste water contained high contents of molasses and chemicals.

 

Vedan’s officials admitted the firm’s violations. Inspectors took waste samples for testing.

 

Colonel Luong Minh Thao said Vedan’s punishment will be determined after test results come back. He confirmed that Vedan’s activities seriously violate Vietnam’s Environmental Protection Law.

 

Acting head of the Environmental Protection General Department Bui Cach Tuyen on September 14 said the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment sent two groups of inspectors to Dong Nai to cooperate with environmental police in dealing with this case.

 

The Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment’s said it will strictly and resolutely handle this case and foreign-invested companies must obey Vietnam’s law on environmental protection.

 

The Vedan Vietnam Limited Joint Stock Company, a wholly Taiwanese-invested firm, was established under an investment licence granted by the Ministry of Planning and Investment in August 1991.

 

In early 1993, Vedan Vietnam constructed a flour and seasoning powder factory at the Go Dau Industrial Zone in Phuoc Thai commune, Long Thanh district, Dong Nai province. Since the factory became operational, its surrounding environment has become polluted seriously.

 

In October 2004: residents in the districts of Nhon Trach and Long Thanh (Dong Nai) and Tan Thanh (Ba Ria-Vung Tau province) asked Vedan to compensate them for losses since the factory’s waste water killed fish and shrimp worth around VND40 billion ($2.5 million).

 

In December 1994, the Prime Minister instructed the Dong Nai Department of Science-Technology and the Environment to investigate Vedan’s polluting activities.

 

In June 1995, in a meeting with experts of the Environmental Agency and the Dong Nai Science-Technology and Environmental Department, Vedan’s officials admitted the firm’s violations and agreed to compensate people in Nhon Trach district VND7 billion, Long Thanh residents nearly VND4.5 billion, Can Gio district (HCM City) people over VND7 billion.

 

On September 16, 2002, the Ministry of Planning and Investment granted an amended investment licence, approving the transfer of duties and interests of the Taiwanese investor in Vedan Vietnam to the Singapore-based Burghley Enterprise Pte Ltd under a contract signed on August 5, 2002.

 

In June 2006, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, almost all tests of waste water samples taken from Vedan revealed pollution. The firm also directly discharged water into the river.

 

On September 8, 2008, the Environmental Police Agency and inspectors of the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment caught Vedan discharging untreated waste water into the Thi Vai River.

 

 

 



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