Last update: 16:03 | 11/09/2017
Despite the investor, Hong Kong-based Lee&Man Paper Group, committing to resolve the environmental damage caused by the trial run of its paper manufacturing factory in the Mekong Delta province of Hau Giang, it has relapsed into environmental violations.
According to newswire Saigontimes, residents living near the paper manufacturing factory have continued complaining about air and water pollution caused by the factory.
Residents claim that opaque smoke columns rise above the manufacturing mill from dusk to dawn, bringing an unpleasant acidic smell.
Besides, residents smell the stink of the wastewater discharge area of the factory, affecting the water source of households.
A household said that after the investor solved the previous environmental incident, the environmental pollution decreased but has yet stop.
Nguyen Thanh Tung, Chairman of the Mai Dam Town People’s Committee in Chau Thanh district, said that local authorities received the residents’ complaints and dispatched an inspection team to conduct a survey at the factory.
Regarding the reasons of the pollution, Tung said that the investor has tested the wastewater treatment system and coal warehouse, but there is no official report yet.
It is the second time that the factory causes environmental pollution in its trial operation.
In December 2016, the factory was allowed to begin testing the treatment plant for the first time, but it stopped the trial operation three weeks in due to heavy air, noise, and water pollution.
At the time, the investor committed to install dust-proof nets around the coal warehouse and plant trees at the unused site behind the facility to deal with the air pollution.
It had installed a sound-proof and a sound insulation wall system for its thermal power plant which was considered the reason behind the noise pollution. Besides, the unpleasant odor was found to be coming from the dry mud storage facility and mud basin at its wastewater treatment plant, thus the investor promised to install machines to solve the problem.
Along with the paper manufacturing factory, Lee&Man’s pulp mill has been issued a warning to have its investment certificate withdrawn.
Notably, the Hau Giang People’s Committee proposed the Ministry of Planning and Investment to revoke the investment certificate of the Lee&Man pulp mill due to its long delay in construction, a violation of the Law on Land and the Law on Investment.
The project was licensed in mid-2007 and was adjusted in June 2011. After holding the investment certificate for 11 years now, and having adjusted the implementation date numerous times, there is still no end in sight.
However, the underlying cause of the investment certificate revocation is concerns of environmental pollution after the pulp mill comes into operation.