Detergent firm fined $47,000 fine for dirtying canal water

By Phuoc Tuan   June 5, 2020 | 03:00 am PT
Detergent firm fined $47,000 fine for dirtying canal water
A long stretch of foam is formed in Suoi Cho Canal in the southern province of Binh Duong, due to by effluents from LIZ Detergent, April 8, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Thai Ha.
Vietnamese company LIX Detergent has been fined VND1.1 billion ($47,800) for dumping raw materials used for production into a canal.

The dumping created a lot of foam and stench in the canal in Binh Duong Province, which neighbors HCMC.

The punishment decision, signed this week, noted that a branch of the company in the Dai Dang Industrial Park in Thu Dau Mot Town of Binh Duong violated environment regulations by releasing effluents 10 times more than allowed by technical standards.

According to the provincial department of Natural Resources and Environment, the company left the raw materials outdoors and it was washed down an open sewer by a heavy downpour on April 8 into the Suoi Cho Canal. The chain of reaction created a two-meter-high white foam that stretched 200 meters.

Two days later, when all the bubbles dissolved, the stench lingered, killing a lot of fish and making life difficult for people living nearby.

The province has ordered that apart from paying the fine, the company should address its polluting actions, regularly monitor its wastewater collection, develop a crisis response plan for wastewater incidents and submit it to the authorities for approval.

In the southern province alone, the company produces at least 90,000 tons of liquid detergent, according to figures available for 2017.

The Suoi Cho Canal is a drainage project built for industrial parks and the surrounding urban area, flowing into Tan Vinh Hiep Lake in Tan Uyen Town.

Founded in 1992, Lix Detergent Joint Stock Company has a chartered capital of VND324 billion ($14.1 million). Its mother company, the Vietnam National Chemical Group, is 100 percent state-owned.

Water pollution claimed 3,097 lives in Vietnam in 2017, the latest year for which data was available, according to the Pollution and Health Metrics report published by the Global Alliance on Health and Pollution last year.

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