Ha Tinh digs up another Formosa waste dumping site

By Duc Hung   July 14, 2016 | 09:21 pm GMT+7
The waste was uncovered at another landfill near a tourism hot spot in Ha Tinh Province.
Ha Tinh digs up another Formosa waste dumping site

The three-hectare (7.4-acre) Thien Cam Landfill located in Thien Cam Town (Cam Xuyen District, Ha Tinh Province) is under the management of Co-operative Society of Thien Cam Services and Ecology. Its function involves collecting, transporting and processing non-hazardous waste in the district and neighboring areas. In September 2015, the landfill closed down after a new waste-treatment plant entered service.

 

Ha Tinh digs up another Formosa waste dumping site

There are approximately 3,000 households in the area. On May 5, 2015, local people reported a truck dumping black waste into a landfill. The truck driver admited that the waste came from Formosa Ha Tinh Steel plant (in Vung Ang Economic Zone, Ha Tinh).

 

 

Ha Tinh digs up another Formosa waste dumping site

At that time, local authorities found seven piles of the black waste buried in the landfill. Nguyen Giang Ha, vice head of the Co-operative Society of Thien Cam Services and Ecology, said his organization signed a contract with FHS and the waste was mud from the company's processing factory.

Ha cited test results from an Environmental Protection Branch under Ha Tinh's Department of Natural Resources and Environment. The samples were analyzed by the Institute of Science Technology and Environment (University of Hanoi). Results showed that the waste was non-hazardous.

 

Ha Tinh digs up another Formosa waste dumping site

"We have a business registration certificate for urban environmental services. If test result shows that the waste is hazardous, we will sue Formosa for giving us the wrong type of waste. Our unit operates based on the signed contract and the findings from Ha Tinh's Department of Natural Resources and Environment," said Ha.

However, Chairman of Thien Cam People's Committee said the waste buried by the Co-operative Society was a violation. Last year, the authorities sent waste samples to a Natural Resources and Environment Office in Cam Xuyen District for analysis but received no response.

 


 

Ha Tinh digs up another Formosa waste dumping site

Explaining the delayed response, deputy chief of the office Nguyen Van Toan confirmed that they have received the waste samples sent from Thien Cam authorities, but have not analyzed them.

"We relied on the test results from the provincial Environmental Protection Department, which concluded that the waste was not hazardous. So we didn't send the sample to the Environment Ministy for analysis," Toan said.

 

Ha Tinh digs up another Formosa waste dumping site

It has been a year since the waste was found, lying under layers of plastic garbage.

"We feel very insecure and anxious that waste from an industrial plant is buried here. The area is densely populated. The waste might seep into the ground, effecting water sources and harming people," a local said.

 

Ha Tinh digs up another Formosa waste dumping site

Once a certified landfill site, Thien Cam Landfill has become contaminated, with its biogical pond filled with murky water and garbage.

 

Ha Tinh digs up another Formosa waste dumping site

Thien Cam Beach is located about a kilometer away from the landfill, and attracts many visitors each day. Cam Xuyen District authorities are concerned that the arbitrary waste dumping will affect local tourism.

On July 11, Ha Tinh authorities found that the Urban Environment Company (UEC) in Ky Anh District was responsible for burying over 100 tons of industrial waste released by Formosa Ha Tinh Steel – the culprit behind Vietnam’s recent mass fish kills. The contract between FHS and UEC has been suspended while Ha Tinh authorities and related agencies take samples for analysis.

 

 
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