Dust, noise from thermal power plant invokes relocation drive

By Viet Quoc, Gia Chinh   July 8, 2020 | 03:44 pm GMT+7
Dust, noise from thermal power plant invokes relocation drive
Stacks emitting smoke at Vinh Tan Electricity Center in Binh Thuan Province. Photo by VnExpress/Viet Quoc.

The environment ministry has requested authorities of south-central Binh Thuan Province relocate families affected by dust and noise produced by a thermal power station.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment said dust and noise produced by coal-fired plants at Vinh Tan Electricity Center affect villagers of Tuy Phong District, according to a survey by Vietnam Environment Administration.

Air sample analysis in Vinh Phuc Village, about 130-150 m from the Vinh Tan 4 Thermal Power Plant, one of four operational plants at the center, showed the amount of dust present to be 1.19-1.63 times higher than normal, and the level of nocturnal noise 1.05 times above the permitted levels.

The national noise limits in residential areas are 70dBA from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., and 55dBA from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.

The environment ministry late last month requested Binh Thuan People’s Committee to relocate families affected, creating an environmentally safe corridor for Vinh Phuc Village. Several houses in the locality stand only about 80 m from the Vinh Tan 4 Power Plant fence, said the ministry.

"After relocation, the area needs to be turned into a forest to reduce the impact of dust and noise," the ministry requested, adding provincial authorities should consider using ash and cinders, both plant byproducts, as filling materials for local construction projects if they satisfy normal standards.

Pham Dinh Quang, deputy director of Vinh Tan 4 Thermal Power Plant, said Tuesday recently heightened noise levels were due to malfunctioning equipment. After receiving complaints from locals, the plant has "resolved the problem," he noted.

Quang also said ash and cinders produced by Vinh Tan Electricity Center have been compressed and water-sprayed as approved by Binh Thuan People’s Committee to prevent dust from spreading.

"We are working on methods that use ash and cinders as construction and filling materials to minimize cinder buildup."

Vietnam relies mostly on hydropower and thermal power to serve rising electricity demands.

 
 
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