Power plant proposes plan to dump 1.3 million tons of waste into Vietnam’s sea

By VnExpress   November 4, 2016 | 11:00 am PT
Power plant proposes plan to dump 1.3 million tons of waste into Vietnam’s sea
Vinh Tan Power Company in Tuy Phong District, the southern coastal province of Binh Thuan. Photo from the Industry Ministry.
How is the country treating its marine environment?

The southern province of Binh Thuan’s Environment Department has sent a document to the Vietnam Administration of Seas and Islands asking for opinions on a proposal to dump 1.3 million tons of waste into the sea, the Vietnam News Agency reported.

Ho Lam, head of the department, said that the waste contains mud, soil and sand dredged from a harbor belonging to the Vinh Tan Power Company located in Tuy Phong District.

According to the company, Tuy Phong District does not have the land to process such a huge volume of waste, so it has asked for permission to "bury" the waste at sea.

The proposed site would be 5.5 kilometers from the mainland and cover an area of 30 hectares.

The site isn’t very far from the Hon Cau Marine Protected Area (MPA), one of 16 marine life preservation zones in Vietnam.

Binh Thuan’s Environment Department said that the dump posed serious threats to the marine environment, especially the Hon Cau MPA which is home to coral reefs, seagrass beds and more than 500 sea creatures.

The site is also on a freight shipping route between the central coastal provinces of Quang Binh and Binh Thuan, so it would affect the flow of commodities transported between the two provinces.

Huynh Quang Huy, head of the province’s Fisheries Department, told Phap Luat Online Newspaper that the dump could kill coral reefs and aquatic creatures, and as a result, the Hon Cau MPA would be wiped out.

“We should have received official information about the plan as it will affect the Hon Cau MPA directly, but to date, no information has reached us,” Huy said on November 2.

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