Foreign firm found dumping untreated wastewater into Vietnam river

TN News

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The Ministry of Public Security on Wednesday said it had found a Taiwanese-owned company in the northern province of Hai Duong discharging untreated wastewater into a local river.

A raid by the Environment Police Department (C36) late Monday night found that Tung Kuang Industrial Joint Stock Company in Cam Giang District had buried a pipe underground to release wastewater from its factories to the Ghe River, some 200 meters away.

The wastewater contained excessive toxic chemicals, including the carcinogen hexavalent chromium, according to C36.

Local people in Cam Giang said the Ghe River, which is the water source for thousands of families' daily activities, had produced white foam for years.

Police also found although the company had set up a wastewater treatment system, the system's dry tanks had been unused for a long time.

Vo Anh Tuan, head of the C36 Industrial Team, said it was very likely that the aluminum frames manufacturer, which opened in 2005, had discharged a large amount of untreated wastewater into the river.

C36's deputy head Luong Minh Thao said Tung Kuang was once fined VND100 million (US$5,256) in 2007 for dumping untreated waste.

C36 are now extending their investigation into the company.

Thao said Tung Kuang's violation was comparable to that of Taiwanese-owned MSG maker Vedan Vietnam, which in 2008 was found to have been releasing toxic and untreated wastewater into the southern province of Dong Nai's Thi Vai River for 14 years.

Vedan Vietnam is now facing claims for damages costing over VND1.3 trillion (US$68.4 million) from affected farmers in Ho Chi Minh City, Dong Nai and the southern province of Ba Ria Vung Tau.

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