Paper factory pollution under scrutiny

Saturday, 2017-04-01 15:17:06
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The Vietnam Lee & Man Paper Manufacturing Limited in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Hau Giang (Photo: tuoitre.vn)
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NDO/VNA—The Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources has ordered the Vietnam Environment Administration to collaborate with Hau Giang Province to investigate media reports about environmental pollution caused by Vietnam Lee & Man Paper Manufacturing,Limited after its waste treatment plant developed problems.

Media reports this week said that a trial run of the plant at the company’s factory, which is under construction, in the Mekong Delta province’s Chau Thanh District caused discharges of untreated wastewater on March 7, affecting nearby households.

Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment Vo Tuan Nhan said the province’s Department of Natural Resources and the Environment and other local agencies had been told to co-ordinate with the ministry’s inspection team to investigate and publish details of possible pollution.

He also instructed the company to furnish details of the plant’s trial operation.

Speaking to Tuoi tre (“The Youth”) newspaper, deputy director general of the VEA, Hoang Van Thuc, said the ministry had sent an inspection team to take charge of monitoring and evaluating the improvements to be made to the treatment plant next week.

The plant’s trials should be done within the factory, and no wastewater should be released into the environment, he said.

Last December the VEA allowed the factory to begin testing the treatment plant for the first time, but then stopped the tests due to pollution.

The US$1.2 billion factory, situated in the Phu Huu A Industrial Cluster along the Hau River, saw work begin in 2007, but completion has been delayed several times.

It is designed to manufacture 330,000 tonnes of pulp and 420,000 tonnes of packaging paper a year.

It is the largest paper factory in Vietnam and one of the five largest in the world.