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November 17, 2019, 12:09 pm

Hao Duong hit with record fine for polluting environment

(15:08:21 PM 15/11/2014)
(Tinmoitruong.vn) - he HCM City Department of Natural Resources and the Environment has imposed a fine of VND6.3 billion, the highest ever, on Hao Duong, a leather company, for discharging untreated waste water into the environment.

 Hao Duong hit with record fine for polluting environment

 

On October 23 last year, the police discovered Hao Duong Company pumping waste water into Dong Dien River with the capacity of 2.100 cubic meters per day.

The HCM City Institute of Natural Resources and the Environment, after analyzing the waste water sample, concluded that the concentration of pollutants were higher than the permitted levels by tens to hundreds of times.

In the past, Hao Duong was fined 10 times totaling VND750 million for polluting the environment. Deputy director of Hao Duong was prosecuted for violating regulations on labor safety and hygiene (causing the death of three workers).

The police said they were determined to take criminal proceedings against Hao Duong.

Senior Lieutenant Colonel Cu Nam Tien from the Ministry of Public Security said that, with the seriousness of the violations and the evidence found on site, the police believed there were sufficient conditions to take criminal proceedings against Hao Duong under Article No 182 of the Penal Code.

However, the police failed to do this. Under the Code of Criminal Procedure, the conclusion by the Institute of Natural Resources and the Environment was not valid under criminal law

Tien calls this a “legal loophole”, because the case could not be brought to a court as a criminal case, saying that the problem will be reported to the National Assembly for amendment.

Colonel Duong Van Linh, deputy head of the Environmental Criminal Prevention Agency, pointed out that Hao Duong’s violations were very serious, and conducted with thorough preparations.

The company dug many pits to store waste water and only pumped waste water from the pits to the Dong Dien River at night. It built a sophisticated system of underground pipelines to pump waste water.

Nguyen Thi Thanh My, deputy director of the HCM City Department of Natural Resources and the Environment, said the watchdog agency could easily supervise the waste water discharge of Hao Duong because it had revoked the company’s license to exploit surface water.

After Hao Duong’s problems are settled, the company will be allowed to resume its operation for one or two months, but could only continue normal operations if it respects the current laws on environmental protection. If more violations are found, its operation license will be revoked, My said.

Despite the strong commitments by the local authorities, people still doubt that Hao Duong will bear heavy sanctions.

In June 2013, the HCM City Department of Natural Resources and the Environment did not include Hao Duong on the list of establishments seriously polluting the environment. The decision was described as “enigmatic” and it was questioned by the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment.

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