Monitoring center set up to keep tabs on suspect Formosa wastewater

By Duc Hung   May 18, 2016 | 04:36 am PT
Monitoring center set up to keep tabs on suspect Formosa wastewater
Formosa's discharge activity is monitored through a computer screen. : Duc Hung
A new monitoring station in Ha Tinh Province has officially entered service today to check on waste being discharged by Taiwanese steel company Formosa – one of the prime suspects for the recent mass fish deaths in central Vietnam.

The center will operate 24/7 and automatically update every two minutes, and is located Ha Tinh's Center for Monitoring and Environmental Engineering.

Formosa’s environmental activities are being monitored as part of the investigation into the mass fish deaths along the central coast.


Formosa's drainage system. Photo by Duc Hung.

In early April, large quantities of fish washed up dead near the Vung Ang Economic Zone in Ha Tinh Province. This unusual phenomenon spread south along the coast of the central provinces of Ha Tinh, Quang Tri, Quang Binh and Thua Thien Hue, resulting in a total of 100 tons of fish killed.

According to the results of an initial investigation published by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment on April 27, chemical toxins released by human activities or blooming algae (also called a red tide) were identified as the main suspects.

On May 2, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc ordered several ministries to determine the exact cause of the environmental disaster. Five days later, a joint delegation of seven ministries and Vietnam's Academy of Science and Technology conducted an inspection at the Formosa plant. The final results of the inspection have yet to be announced.

Chairman of Ha Tinh People's Committee Dang Quoc Khanh on May 11 approved the plan to install the monitoring center to keep a close eye on the Formosa plant.

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