Vietnam's minister pledges determination in major pollution scandal

TN News

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A major pollution case in which a state-owned factory was recently found dumping untreated wastewater in southern Vietnam will be handled with "determination," the environment minister said Tuesday.

Minister of Environment and Natural Resources Nguyen Minh Quang, who took his office about one week ago, made the statement at a press briefing.

Quang said he had yet to receive detailed reports about the violations of Sonadezi Service JSC, which manages the waste treatment plant caught discharging millions of cubic meters of untreated sewage into the Rach Cheo Canal on August 19. The canal flows into to the Dong Nai River.

When asked about criticisms that the ministry was going easy on the company, he also stressed his ministry would deal with the violations thoroughly.

Previously, Dong Nai authorities also pledged that they would deal strictly the company, which is a subsidiary the state-owned Sonadezi Corporation and has been honored for its environmentally-friendly operations many times.

Meanwhile, 150 farming households have lodged complaints, claiming over VND7 billion (US$336,700) in compensation for polluting the canal.


Farmers claim $337,000 from canal polluter in southern Vietnam

The environmental department at the Ministry of Public Security (C49) is currently investigating the case.

Quang was also asked about a recent EuroCharm report claiming that most of Vietnam's official reports on the effects of industrial operations on the environment were unsystematic and incorrect.

Quang replied that such reports would be conducted more strictly.

"We are determined to get rid of substandard estimates," the minister said.

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