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Director of Thanh Hoa Department of Natural Resources faces dismissal

(14:08:35 PM 17/12/2013)
(Tinmoitruong.vn) - Blaming the Department of Natural Resources and Environment’s loose management for the burying of a thousand tons of toxic chemicals of a pesticide firm, Thanh Hoa province’s constituents have asked the provincial government to dismiss the department’s chief.

 

Mr. Vu Dinh Xinh, Director of the Department of Natural Resources and Environment.

 

So far, more than 843 tons of untreated toxic waste illegally dumped by the Nicotex Thanh Thai Company in Thanh Hoa Province's Cam Van commune have been excavated.

 

Expired chemicals and pesticides, including highly toxic Cyper-methrin, were discovered in quantities up to 9,000 times the legal limit.

 

The excavation, conducted by the Vietnam Environmental Resources Technology Investment Joint Stock Company (DTM), began on October 11 and is expected to last through this month. Thanh Thai Company was required to pay all excavation and treatment fees.

 

DTM's director Le Anh Tung said the excavation activities were carried out very carefully and DTM had to use four large fans to reduce the odor as well as the risk for workers and supervisors. The excavated waste was classified and carefully packed by the excavation team to be removed for treatment.

 

The company received a fine of over VND421 million (US$20,000) for dumping the untreated toxic waste.

 

The case came to light in mid-August after local residents in the commune complained to local authorities that the company was dumping untreated chemicals.

 

Local people have filed a petition to sue the company, as the chemicals are known to cause severe pollution and environmental damage and are seriously harmful to human health.

 

On December 12, the Q & A session at the 8th meeting of the Thanh Hoa Provincial People’s Council was hotter than usual, with many questions about environmental pollution at Nicotex Thanh Thai Company.

 

Many delegates said that Thanh Thai had buried hazardous chemicals for many years but its act was not detected and this was the responsibility of the state agency, specifically the Department of Natural Resources and Environment.

 

"There were so many inspection teams visiting this company but they did not detect any violation until locals denounced the firm to the police. Therefore, the Department of Natural Resources and Environment must be responsible for it,” said deputy Duong Thi Lan.

 

Mr. Vu Dinh Xinh, Director of the Department of Natural Resources and Environment, explained that before 2008, Thanh Thai was under the management of the General Department of Technology of the Ministry of Defense, so the inspection and supervision of this firm’s activities was mainly implemented by the Ministry of Defense.

 

The company was equitized in 2008 and since then the Department of Natural Resources and Environment sent four inspection teams to the company but they did not detect violations because this company buried toxic chemicals in a sophisticated way. Therefore, the firm’s directors must take the responsibility, Xinh said.

 

Xinh added that the commune and district officials did know about Thanh Thai’s violations but they did not timely reported to the Department of Natural Resources and Environment.

 

However, he admitted his department’s mistakes in the inspection and monitoring at Nicotex Thanh Thai. He said the department had reviewed the task and criticized related divisions and individuals.

 

Officials of Cam Thuy and Yen Dinh districts said that Thanh Thai’s violations were not detected for years because this company was under the Ministry of Defense’s management.

 

Confirming this case as one of the biggest environmental pollution scandals in Vietnam in recent years, Thanh Hoa People’s Council Chairman Mai Van Ninh said that the cause was loose management.

 

Ninh said that a lot of voters had asked the provincial government to dismiss the Director of the Department of Natural Resources and Environment – Mr. Vu Dinh Xinh but the case should be considered objectively and thoroughly.

 

He asked the provincial People's Committee, the provincial police and the relevant units to urgently tackle environmental pollution around Nicotex Thanh Thai plant and punished the related individuals and units.

Le Ha
KHÔNG XẢ RÁC BỪA BÃI

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