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Company dumps black wastewater in south-central Vietnam river

Company dumps black wastewater in south-central Vietnam river

Thursday, December 20, 2018, 23:03 GMT+7
Company dumps black wastewater in south-central Vietnam river
Wastewater is discharged from a factory in Phu Yen Province, south-central Vietnam, December 18, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre

An industrial alcohol processing facility notorious for the stench its factory emits over a south-central Vietnam town has been accused by locals of dumping untreated wastewater directly into a nearby river.

Authorities in Phu Yen Province, working off complaints from local residents, spent Tuesday sampling the foul wastewater from an alcohol-production facility owned by the Tuy Hoa Sugarcane and Sugar Company.

The firm was immediately told to finish the construction of a short wall to keep the water from flowing into the river as a stopgap while the samples undergo testing over the next week.

Tuoi Tre’s attempts to reach the firm’s leaders on Tuesday afternoon went unanswered.

Luong Dinh Chung, a resident living near the factory, said he and his neighbors have suffered from the facility’s odors for several years.

Local officers examine a discharge pipe of a factory in Phu Yen Province, south-central Vietnam, December 18, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Local officers examine a discharge pipe of a factory in Phu Yen Province, south-central Vietnam, December 18, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Wastewater discharged from a factory in Phu Yen Province, south-central Vietnam, December 18, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Wastewater is discharged from a factory in Phu Yen Province, south-central Vietnam, December 18, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre

The final straw was seeing the wastewater released into the river they rely on, Chung said, adding that the company often discharges untreated water at night.

Nguyen Quyet Thang, a local government leader, said authorities have repeatedly asked in vain that the company handle the issues brought forth by local residents.

Figures from the Vietnam Environment Administration showed that approximately 300 businesses were found to be releasing wastewater that did not meet safety standards into rivers across the country during the 2015-16 period.

Discharging toxic wastewater is punishable with up to seven years in prison and a fine of up to VND3 billion (US$129,000), according to a law put into effect in January of this year.

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Thai Xuan / Tuoi Tre News

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