Industrial waste from Formosa steel plant found buried in public park

By Duc Hung   July 18, 2016 | 02:23 am PT
It was mixed with soil to grow trees at a park in Ha Tinh.

Local authorities in the central province of  Ha Tinh have uncovered 10 tons of industrial waste in a local park reportedly discharged by Formosa Ha Tinh Steel – the culprit behind Vietnam’s recent mass fish deaths.

Environmental officers have so far dug up 14 tons of dark muddy waste which was confirmed to have been dumped by steel maker Formosa at a park in a residential area in Song Tri District and a landfill site in Ky Tan District, said Pham Van Hung, a senior environmental official.

The Urban Environment Company (UEC) in Ky Anh District admitted on Monday to the local government that it was responsible for burying several tons of industrial waste in the park and mixing it with soil to grow trees, said Hung.

Around six tons of waste was mixed with three tons of soil, said Le Quang Hoa, chief executive of the waste-treatment company.


Formosa’s industrial waste was mixed with soil to grow trees at a park in the central province of Ha Tinh. Photo by Duc Hung.

He also conceded that the waste was part of over 100 tons Formosa Ha Tinh Steel had contracted to the companty to dispose of on a farm.

“During the process of transporting and burying the waste at the farm, our workers set aside a little to mix with garden soil for planting. However this morning, I reported it to relevant authorities just in case the incident could cause public concern. We will dig up and move the waste to a new location,” said Hoa.

Ha Tinh’s environmental officers have tested the waste samples retrieved from the farm, said Vo Ta Dinh, director of the provincial Department of Environment and Natural Resources. However, local authorities will not make the results public until the environment ministry releases an official announcement, he added.

The results are expected to be announced in the next three or four days. Based on the results, local authorities will decide on how to deal with the incident.

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