Central Vietnam residents to be moved away from polluting coal power plant

By Que Ha, Thanh Nien News

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Le Tien Phuong (L), chairman of Binh Thuan Province People's Committee, talks to residents at the slag landfill of Vinh Tan 2 Thermal Power Plant on April 24, 2015. Photo: Que Ha

The chairman of Binh Thuan Province has ordered local authorities to devise plans to relocate residents affected by emissions and dust from a local coal-fired power plant.
Le Tien Phuong on Friday met with managers of the Vinh Tan 2 Thermal Power Plant in Tuy Phong District to discuss solutions to end the pollution caused by the plant.
“It is quite reasonable for the residents to react strongly. We must quickly find ways to tackle the problem,” he said.
He was referring to a 30-hour protest by thousands of residents that started on April 14, after strong winds blew an unusually large amount of coal dust from the plant into their neighborhood that day.
The residents flocked to National Highway 1, causing severe traffic congestion extending 20 kilometers on the highway.
Local authorities arrived at the scene and tried to persuade the residents to disperse.
It was not until 30 hours later that the residents agreed to end the protest. Traffic on the highway got back to normal around 9 a.m. on April 16.
Phuong, the chairman, said he will work with Electricity of Vietnam, the owner of the plant, and the government for effective relocation plans.
On Friday morning, Phuong also met with local residents, saying that he was fully aware of their concerns. He also ordered the plant to wet its waste before dumping it to reduce dust, as a short-term solution.
Quach Dinh Thanh, head of the Vinh Tan 2 project’s management board, told the residents that the plant had covered 14.6 hectares of a total 15.3 hectares of the landfill where the coal slag was dumped. It is also improving the filtering of emissions, Thanh said.

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