The environment ministry has fined three businesses nearly VND3.9 billion (around US$180,000) for polluting a river and killing tons of fishes in farms in the north central province of Thanh Hoa.
It slapped penalties of VND1.92 billion on Tan Hieu Hung Mechanical Assembly Company, VND1.78 billion on Hoa Binh Sugar Company and VND194 million on a pig farm.
The businesses, based in Hoa Binh Province upstream of the Buoi River, have also been suspended for three months to a year for installing proper waste treatment systems.
Hoa Binh Sugar Company last week paid compensation worth VND1.4 billion ($62,800) to 34 fish farmers in Thanh Hoa in the river’s downstream. They lost years of investment after 17 tons of fish ready to be harvested died within several days.
Thanh Hoa environment officials said their tests found excessive amounts of pollutants in the river.
The ammonia content was seven times above the safety limit, while it was two times for hydrogen sulfide and four times for nitrogen dioxide, they said.
The scale of the pollution was too big for any biological or chemical measures to deal with, they said.
“We have to wait for rain to wash away the pollution and clean up the river naturally,” Thanh Hoa’s environment department said in a statement.