The government of Ha Tinh Province said on Wednesday it will quickly set up a monitoring station to check wastewater discharged from a Taiwanese-invested steel plant, suspected to be responsible for the mass fish deaths along the central coast.
Dang Quoc Khanh, chairman of Ha Tinh People’s Committee, told the press the construction of the station is “urgent” and the provincial government will finance the project, Zing.vn reported.
The Department of Natural Resources and Environment will oversee the project, he said.
He expected the onsite station at the plant of Hung Nghiep Formosa Ha Tinh Steel Company, a major firm in Vung Ang Economic Zone, will finish in one month.
The station will automatically collect and analyze samples from Formosa’s sewage pipe and will be linked to existing stations managed by Ha Tinh’s Department of Natural Resources and Environment.
Earlier on May 1, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc ordered the environment ministry and Ha Tinh authorities to build the station as soon as possible.
Hundreds of tons of fish were washed ashore in early April in Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri and Thua Thien-Hue provinces, apparently killed by industrial effluents.
Suspicion has centered on Formosa, which admitted it has a large sewage pipe going straight into the sea. But it claimed all its discharged wastewater had been treated.
Officials have said they could not find any connection between Formosa's discharge and the disaster yet. Local and foreign scientists are assisting them in the investigation.
The environment ministry has admitted that response to the disaster was slow.
A file photo of the plant of Hung Nghiep Formosa Ha Tinh Steel Company in Vung Ang Economic Zone, Ha Tinh Province. Photo: AFP