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Firms continue to pollute despite fines and penalties

 VietNamNet Bridge – A number of manufacturing businesses in Vietnam continue to ignore the government’s environmental protection regulations.

VietNamNet Bridge – A number of manufacturing businesses in Vietnam continue to ignore the government’s environmental protection regulations.




Recently, Korea’s Miwon Vietnam Company in Phu Tho Province’s Viet Tri City was fined VND515 million ($24,000) for discharging wastewater directly into the public drainage system, seriously causing environmental pollution.

According to the Environmental Police from the Ministry of Public Security, the company’s discharged wastewater exceeded the permitted level of toxicity by 10 folds.

The company has also been required to suspend operations for three months and is required to solve the pollution issue within six months.

In Vietnam since 1994, Miwon specialises in manufacturing monosodium glutamate, fish sauce, and other flavouring products. So far the company is home to two factories in Phu Tho and Tay Ninh.

In April the provincial People’s Committee imposed administrative penalties on the company for the same violation.

Back in 2011, Miwon Vietnam’s subsidiary Miwon Tay Ninh had its factory investigated by the Ministry of Public Security’s Environmental Crime Prevention Police Department which discovered it had been discharging untreated toxic water into the environment for five years.

Parent company Miwon Vietnam is not just a recent offender, it was also fined for polluting the environment for over a year back in 2008.

The scandal made major headlines and caused a stir among the public. At the time the firm was forced to suspend production to upgrade its wastewater treatment facilities and was fined VND32 million ($1,545).

Last week inspectors from the General Department of the Environment announced their findings that many companies and industrial parks were ignoring the government’s environmental protection regulations.

Specifically, the Pho Noi B Industrial Zone in Hung Yen Province has been successful in attracting foreign and domestic garment, textile and food businesses and a number of supporting industry firms. It has a wastewater treatment plant based on the Euro 2 standard that supports 11 companies operating in the park. But it was recently discovered that two out of the four wastewater treatment tanks are no longer operating.

The environment inspectors also identified local enterprises such as textile firm Bitexco Nam Long Joint Stock Company in Thai Binh Province and Quang Minh Vegetable Oil Joint Stock Company as having discharged untreated wastewater directly into the public drainage system.

Since 2008, a number of foreign polluters have been caught polluting the environment and have suffered heavy penalties. Taiwanese-backed Vedan, Korea’s Miwon, Japan’s Da Lat-Japan Food Company, Thai-backed MK Sugar International were each fined roughly $2,900, while Britain’s Meisheng Text in Ba Ria-Vung Tau was hit with $17,630. Vietstar Company was penalised $12,100 and Taiwan’s Tung Kuang Company had to pay $15,600.

Towards reducing the number of companies causing environmental pollution, Decree 179/2013/ND-CP, which took effect on December 30 last year, single violations are finable by up to VND1 billion ($47,619), double the previous figre, and for repeat offenders VND2 billion ($95,238).

The decree also specifies other sanctions including the suspension of operations, forced relocation, and an outright ban. Violators are financially responsible for all damage they cause.

Despite these changes, numerous firms are still harming the environment. According to the General Department of Environment, from the beginning of this year to now, the department has issued fines totalling VND37 billion ($1.7 million) to 184 of 345 violators.



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