Environmental scandal forces gates shut at Chu Lai SODA Company

20:43 | 05/01/2016
The operation of Chu Lai SODA Processing Joint Stock Company, located in the central province of Quang Nam’s Chu Lai Open Economic Zone, has been suspended in wait for the local authorities’ conclusions on its environment violations.

photo source: nld.com.vn

“After receiving complaints from several households near the company’s facility, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) requested the Department of Central and Central Highlands Environment to inspect the company’s activities. The department proposed the MONRE an extensive action plan to mitigate the damages brought about by the company’s violations. The MONRE will announce the final conclusion in the next two or three days,” said Pham Hong Son, acting director of the Department of Central and Central Highlands Environment.

Representatives of the Management Board of Chu Lai Open Economic Zone also held a working session with the company’s leadership to verify the residents’ complaints. “During the inspection process, we found that SODA currently has wastewater treatment plans at its disposal to reduce the pollution. However, there are no detailed plans as to effectively carrying out such operations,” said Le Vu Thuong, deputy director of the Management Board of Chu Lai Open Economic Zone.

According to the board’s inspection record, the company discharged coal and black carbon, both substances being banned in regulations, into the environment. Along with violations of the discharging process guidelines, the company has not built appropriate wastewater and solid waste treatment facilities.

Previously, hundreds of households living in the central province of Quang Nam’s Nui Thanh district complained that their daily life was affected by environmental pollution caused by the company.

According to the residents’ complaints, the company discharged wastewater directly into the river, causing severe water, air, and noise pollution. The fish in the river already died en masse.

Furthermore, the wastewater as not only dumped into the river, but also into residents'(fishery ponds and fields located at the back of the factory, also killing all flora and fauna.

Local authorities’ statistics state that about 40 residents have died of cancer in the past three years, most of them from lung cancer. Local authorities suggested that the responsible agencies relocate the 300 households in the vicinity of the company to a safer location.

By By Kim Oanh

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