Tuesday, July 26, 2016

A soda ash manufacturer has discharged waste water into nearby ponds without permission.

A group of top officials from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment announced their final conclusion on July 26 regarding a case involving a soda ash manufacturer in the central province of Quang Nam.
The group said that fish are dying en masse in adjacent ponds belonging to locals. Many have died a long time ago and floated to the surface, while others drowned at the bottom.
Scores of dead fish killed by sewage from the plant. Photo by VnExpress/Tien Hung
The investigation found that the ponds were not connected to any natural water sources, just two sewage outlets from the factory that have recently been hidden under bricks and soil.
After taking samples, the officials concluded that the samples had excess pH levels.
The company also violated numerous rules like discharging waste water without permission from local authorities, storing sewage for more than six months without informing authorities and showing no documents related to toxic sewage.
Officials from the ministry have yet to decide on a punishment, but have ordered the company to clean up the dead fish and the two outlets.
In February this year, the ministry slapped a fine of VND730 million ($32,800) on Chu Lai Soda Joint Stock Company, the owner of the plant, for polluting the environment. The company was also forced to suspend operations for three months.
However, to date, they have only paid VND200 million.
The soda plant covers an area of 60 hectares with total investment of $120 million ($9,000). It produces soda ash, which is mainly used for making glass, paper and soap.

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