The southern industrial province of Binh Duong on Tuesday announced it has slapped fines of nearly VND3 billion (US$153,850) on 44 businesses found polluting the environment in 2010.
Another 24 businesses are also facing similar penalties as they feature on the black list compiled by the Binh Duong environment police last year.
Hung Thinh Commerce and Production Joint Stock Company which invested in the Dong An Industrial Zone is among the fined businesses, and the first industrial zone investor punished in Binh Duong for causing environment pollution.
The company had failed to report environmental impacts of its actions as required by the authorities. It also discharged untreated wastewater containing high amounts of toxins into the environment.
Le Minh Chau, head of the environmental police office at Binh Duong, said most businesses tried to save money by not treating their waste.
They chose not to use the common wastewater treatment plants though several industrial zones have one, Chau said. They only ran the plants when the authorities came to check.
Some firms even made money by signing contracts to collect and treat the waste from other firms, and stealthily dumped the toxic waste somewhere else.
Some metal scrap dealers held on to their customers by agreeing to collect their waste as well, the officials said.