$120-million plant faces closure after mass fish deaths in Vietnam

By Son Thuy   August 7, 2016 | 09:35 pm PT
The plant can only resume operations when environmental issues have been resolved.

 A soda ash manufacturer in the central province of Quang Nam has been reportedly killing fish for a year, and air and noise pollution caused by the plant has affected more than 400 local families.

Huynh Khanh Toan, deputy head of Quang Nam’s People’s Committee, said on August 5 that he had signed two decisions related to the case.

One was sent to the Ministry of Resources and Environment, asking for the plant to be closed down until environmental issues are resolved and a waste water treatment system completed. The other was sent to local authorities asking them to supervise remedial action taken by Chu Lai Soda Joint Stock Company, the owner of the plant.

In July, a group of top officials from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment inspected the plant and found dead fish in adjacent ponds belonging to locals.

The group also found that the plant had discharged waste water into the nearby environment without permission from local authorities.

At that time, no official punishment was handed down, but the company was told to clean up the dead fish and its two sewage outlets.

Previously, the ministry slapped a fine of VND730 million ($32,800) on the company for polluting the environment, but to date, they have only paid VND200 million.

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