South Korean monosodium glutamate maker Miwon Vietnam has been dumping wastewater into the Red River that runs through the capital city, police said Friday.
"We have found that Miwon, based in northern Phu Tho Province, has discharged wastewater into the Hong (Red) River through a substandard treatment system," head of the province's Environmental Police Bureau, Ngo Quang Thieu, told Thanh Nien Daily Friday.
"The firm has confessed to releasing some 150 cubic meters of wastewater into the river each day since late last year," he said, noting that the real volume may be higher.
"The wastewater treatment system for the firm's second production line is substandard," he said. "But the firm has still put the line into operation since last November, and dumped wastewater into the Red River through it."
Miwon has explained that the system is in a trial operation stage, Thieu said. "However, wastewater discharge through the system is illegal."
"We have collected samples of the wastewater and sent them to relevant agencies for analysis," he noted.
"Our firm has discharged wastewater into the river via a wastewater treatment system, which is operating on a trial basis and facing some problems," an official from Miwon Vietnam, who declined to be named, told Thanh Nien Daily Friday.
However, the discharge has not seriously affected the river's water quality, and only caused some foul odor, he said.
Miwon Vietnam signed a contract with the Center for Clean Water and Environment Technology Transfer in Hanoi to build the wastewater treatment system with an investment of VND7.8 billion (US$472,000) when the firm started to build the second production line two years ago, he noted.
"But the system is substandard, and has had some problems, and we have already terminated the contract with the center, and hired another consultant," he said.
Miwon Vietnam, which has an annual capacity of 30,000 tons of MSG, is trying to find ways to deal with the issue, but it needs at least 7-10 days, he said.
The news about dumping effluents comes in the wake of a major pollution scandal featuring Taiwanese MSG-maker Vedan Vietnam in southern Dong Nai Province, which was caught dumping around 105,600 cubic meters of untreated wastewater to the province's Thi Vai River.
Vedan is facing suspension of its operations and stiff fines for evading payment of environmental fees for many years.
Reported by Bao Van