Dong Nai authorities have threatened to close down or move 13 factories located in this southern province if they fail to submit their waste treatment plans by April 1 next year.
A total of 76 factories were found polluting the environment in February this year but 63 of them have worked out waste management solutions to meet the demand of Dong Nai environment managers.
These companies either lacked a waste treatment system or their treated waste exceeded contamination limits. They were required to submit a plan by September 10 and to complete the waste treatment system by early next year in order to continue operating. But 13 companies ignored the warning.
Dong Nai Province has had 7,000ha used for industrial zones.
The rapid industrial development, however, is threatening the environment. Last year Vedan, a MSG producing company, faced a stiff fine for allegedly releasing more than 5,000cu.m of untreated waste water per day into the Thi Vai River for 14 years.
Since then, the environmental issue in Dong Nai has been censued by the whole society.
One of the 13 firms threatened with closure recently was Taiwanese food producer Interfood, which operates in the residential district of Tan Tien. Interfoood has been fined twice since 2007 for discharging untreated hazardous waste and was ordered to cease operations in the area. However, Interfood asked for extra time and has yet to move. When inspected earlier this year, its waste discharge failed on six out of 10 indicators and it still did not have a place to store its hazardous waste or a way to move it out of the area.
The Dong Nai People’s Committee issued another order and requested the company relocate by September 30, a condition it was unable to meet.
Committee agro-industry section head Hoang Van Thai said the company was in the process of moving outside the residential zone. He expected it would be gone by the end of the year. Meanwhile government inspectors are surpervising its operation.
In another case last year, La Nga residents campaigned twice against Taiwanese bakery and yeast factory AB Mauri, complaining about its heavy pollution and calling for it to be closed down.
Thai said the firm had installed a US$7 million dollar system to treat industrial waste and the results had been positive. They were being observed 24 hours a day and it was planned to check the result of the treatment at the end of the month with a view to removing the company from the polluter’s list.
In a third case, Ma Liang Hua, director of toilet equipment company CEASAR Viet Nam, said his company had had a waste water treatment system since 2000 but had not connected it with the industrial park system. In late 2007, they connected to the park system but the authorities had not performed a recent check.
"Our company has a treatment system but we haven’t been able to complete and submit the paperwork," Liang Hua said. "We’ll do it this month and hope that our name will be taken off the list."