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January 24, 2022, 10:00 am

Vietnam rules with light hand on environment law violators

(10:32:01 AM 25/11/2013)
(Tinmoitruong.vn) - Under the current environment laws, the punishment is not heavy enough to deter violators.environment law violators, environment law, environment rules


The highest punishment level for a behavior of violating the environment law is the fine of VND500 million. A behavior will be considered as the violation only if it is recognized by five competent agencies, while it takes the agencies a lot of months to come to final conclusion.


The light punishment and the complicated procedures both prompt enterprises violate the laws and repeat the offense, because they believe that they would be safe after paying fines.


More violation cases found


There are some 400 export processing zones (EPZ) and industrial zones (IZ) in the southern key economic zone and neighboring areas, which gather 80,000 enterprises.  HCM City is the locality which gathers most enterprises in the industries which discharge high exhaust fumes and waste water.


According to the Department for Environment Criminal Prevention under the Ministry of Public Security, the police of the 11 localities have found 2,303 environment violation cases so far this year, an increase of 150 cases in comparison with 2012.


Though the number of cases was big (more than 2,000), the total fine imposed on the violators was modest, at over VND40 billion. Analysts believe that the sum of money is too small, which cannot truly reflect the current situation.


A report by the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment (MONRE) on the pollution of the river and canal system in HCM City showed that 5,000 factories and production workshops, big and small, discharge exhaust fumes, dust and waste water to the environment every day.


A big volume of exhaust fume and waste water is discharged directly to the environment without any treatment, or with preliminary treatment, thus causing serious pollution to a lot of residential quarters.


The section of the Saigon River from Cu Chi district to Binh Thanh district, the canals of Tham Luong, Tau Hu, Truong Dai, Suoi Ca and Suoi Nhum, therefore, have become the black rivers and canals due to the serious pollution.


On the Tham Luong canal system alone, from Tan Binh IZ to Truong Dai Bridge, there are over 100 production workshops which discharge tens of thousands of cubic meters of waste water and thousands of tons of hazardous exhaust fumes.


The other districts of Thu Duc, Binh Tan, Binh Chanh, Hoc Mon and Cu Chi suffer a big volume of untreated waste water from thousands businesses.


Violators lent a hand by state officials


Le Thi Nga, a National Assembly’s Deputy from Thai Nguyen province, said at the ongoing National Assembly’s that the environment pollution in Vietnam has become alarming, and that the number of cases discovered by newspapers and people is just the “tip of the iceberg.”


Nga believes that in many cases, state officials lend a hand to enterprises to discharge untreated waste to the environment. Local newspapers recently have reported a lot of cases, in which local authorities and competent agencies keep silent when receiving complaints from people.


According to Colonel Phan Huu Vinh, Deputy Head of the Department for Environment Criminal Prevention, the investment on the waste treatment system and the regular expenses on the system account for 1/3 of the production cost. Therefore, businesses would rather to pay fine than spending money on the system.

Thien Nhien

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