Monday, December 12, 2016

Formosa: Provinces to test sea water regularly

Tourists swim at Thiên Cầm beach in central Hà Tĩnh Province. – Photo
HÀ NỘI – The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE) has directed the four central provinces devastated by Formosa’s discharge of toxic waste to test sea water at 19 beaches every two weeks.
In a document sent to the affected provinces yesterday, the ministry asked Hà Tĩnh, Quảng Bình, Quảng Trị và Thừa Thiên – Huế provinces to publicise the test results and send them to the Việt Nam Environment Administration.
The results will also be announced on the ministry’s website and other types of media.
If there is abnormal phenomenon in the water, the ministry has asked the People’s Committees of the provinces to notify the ministry for timely assistance.
Earlier, on June 26, the ministry issued a document requiring the People’s Committees of these provinces to conduct the monitoring of sea water at 19 beaches. Test results showed that water quality has been stable and within permissible limits of national regulations on sea water quality.
In reply to questions of the National Assembly deputies on November 16, MoNRE Minister Trần Hồng Hà affirmed that water in certain central provinces was safe for tourism, sports and fishing.
In terms of responsibilities of those involved in the Formosa incident, he said that the results would soon be released to the public.
The Central Inspection Commission has been examining the responsibilities of relevant teams and individuals in both current and previous tenures and reviewing responsibilities of organisations and units related to the incident.
MoNRE last month reported the results of an investigation into Taiwan-invested Hưng Nghiệp Formosa Hà Tĩnh Steel Company’s efforts to deal with the environmental incident it caused in four central provinces.
The ministry said Formosa had distributed US$500 million to the Vietnamese government. The company has also implemented temporary and long-term measures as required by the Minister Trần Hồng Hà in production technology transformation.
To improve Formosa’s capacity to deal with environmental incidents, Minister Trần Hồng Hà asked the company to work with scientific and technological agencies and domestic and foreign experts to upgrade environment protection infrastructure and finish the upgrades before March 31 next year.
According to the MoNRE, Formosa is applying wet coke quenching technology instead of coke drying quenching (CDQ) as required.
To fulfill its pledge with the Vietnamese Government, the MONRE said that Formosa would transform technology from wet method to dry from March 31 next year. – VNS


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