Environment

January 19, 2021, 3:24 pm

Scrap metal from used ships polluting environment

(14:04:17 PM 11/10/2014)
(Tinmoitruong.vn) - The Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment (MONRE) has allowed enterprises and individuals to import used ships for scrap steel, which has caused pollution, environmentalists say.


 

“Many waste substances will be generated during the demolishment of old ships, including oil, lead-containing paint and zinc, which will cause pollution,” said Dr. Pham Ngoc Dang, deputy chair of the Vietnam Nature and Environment Conservation.

The decision by MONRE was applauded by enterprises which could see huge profits from the job, but it has raised concerns among the public.

The ministry has tried to reassure the public that old ships will be imported if they can satisfy strict requirements to be set by state management agencies. Imports of used ships will be treated like imports of scrap and therefore, must follow environmental regulations.

However, scientists say they doubt that the regulations will be respected by the importers.

Dang warned that the damage would be very serious if the hazardous waste was generated during the ship demolishment, such as paint from ship hulls.

An analyst commented that he does not believe that strict requirements will be respected by the demolishers, because it will be very costly to treat the waste.

“They will do something just to fool state management agencies’ inspectors,” he said, adding that the decision will only bring jobs and benefit shipbuilders and steel manufacturers, which have financial problems.

Dang said the import of old ships for domestic demolishment was banned by the 2005 Environment Protection Law, and he cannot understand why the ban was removed when compiling the amended environmental protection law.

“The 2005 law prohibited old-ship imports because hazardous waste cannot be completely treated in Vietnam,” he said.

Businesses argue that the activities would bring benefits to both the demolishers and the State: while demolishers can pocket big profits, the State will be able to increase its revenue from the taxation and environmental fees.

It is estimated that the demolishment of one ship can bring profits of millions of dollars.

However, Dang denied the profit, stressing that it can be obtained only if demolishers skip the waste treatment process.

“If demolishers have to spend money on the treatment of hazardous process and modern technologies, they will not have profit,” he said. “If this is really a profitable business, foreigners will not be foolish enough to give away old ships.”

“Hazardous waste has been put into stores so far. No unit in Vietnam can treat the waste completely,” he said.

In fact, the 2005 Environmental Protection Law prohibits old ship imports for demolishment, but it was included in the master plan on the shipbuilding industry development by 2020, approved by the Prime Minister in November 2013.

 

Dat Viet
KHÔNG XẢ RÁC BỪA BÃI

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