Chinese textile firm fined for toxic waste in northern Vietnam

By VnExpress   February 5, 2017 | 03:48 pm GMT+7
Chinese textile firm fined for toxic waste in northern Vietnam
Part of the Lai Vu Industrial Park in Hai Duong Province where the Pacific Crystal textile plant is located. Photo by VnExpress/Huy Thuong

Pollution and natural disasters could cost the country about 0.6 percent of its annual gross domestic product between now and 2020.

A Hong Kong-based textile firm in Vietnam’s northern province of Hai Duong has been fined for discharging wastewater that exceeded permitted levels of toxic waste.

Mayor Nguyen Duong Thai issued a fine of VND672 million ($29,372) to Pacific Crystal Textiles Limited in the Lai Vu Industrial Park in Kim Thanh District, VietnamPlus reported on Sunday.

The company was also asked to ensure any wastewater discharged in the future meets local government standards.

Pacific Crystal began commercial operations at its $425-million plant in Hai Duong in December 2015.

Following a similar incident in June last year, Vietnam’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment inspected the Lee&Man Paper Manufacturing Company, a Chinese paper manufacturing plant in the southern province of Hau Giang, following media reports about possible environmental damage to the Mekong River.

In another large-scale environmental disaster, Formosa Ha Tinh Steel, which runs an $11 billion steel plant in the central province of Ha Tinh, polluted a 200km stretch of coastline in April last year, killing more than 100 tons of fish and devastating the environment, jobs and economies of four provinces in the central region.

According to the General Statistics Office (GSO), violations of the country's environmental regulations in 2016 were recorded at some 80 percent of industrial parks.

Foreign-invested firms accounted for 60 percent of 50 companies caught discharging waste that exceeds the allowable standards, according to the GSO.

The National Center for Socio-Economic Information and Forecast recently delcared that environmental pollution has severely impeded Vietnam’s economic growth.

The center warned that pollution and natural disasters could cost the country about 0.6 percent of its annual gross domestic product between now and 2020.

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