Vietnam’s industrial parks and major river basins will continue to be soiled by grave industrial environmental pollution.
of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE) Nguyen Minh Quang last
week told the National Assembly that he could not forecast when the
heavily polluted environment at industrial parks (IPs) and rivers would
be “re-greened”, because “it will need time and money” and the
re-greening of the environment “depends on enterprises’ awareness.”
Quang said treating pollution at the country’s three major Cau,
Nhue-Day and Dong Nai-Saigon river basins would come with a VND10
trillion ($480.76 million) price tag.
“The cost is too big and we will have to seek support from the state
budget and the international community. Our view is that we cannot
sacrifice the environment for economic purposes at any price,” the
Many National Assembly delegates said dozens of millions of people in
Vietnam were currently living in contaminated environments.
“If the environment continues to be polluted this way, we cannot
forecast how national socio-economic development will be in the future,”
said delegate representing Hanoi Bui Thi An.
National Assembly delegates pointed to 35 per cent out of Vietnam’s 283
IPs having no concentrated waste water treatment systems, while many
IPs had poorly performing systems.
For example, the Lien Chieu, Hoa Khanh and Tho Quang IPs in Danang and
Thuy Van IP in northern Phu Tho province were recently found to have
been damaging the environment for years, despite having their own waste
water treatment systems.
“We will continue inspecting this 35 per cent of IPs in terms of
environmental protection tasks. If they have no well-equipped waste
water treatment systems, these IPs will be banned from operation,” Quang
About 70 per cent of three million cubic metres of untreated waste
water discharged every day from the IPs was emptied directly into the
environment, according to the MoNRE. The World Bank warned that
Vietnam’s heavy industrial environmental pollution annually cost 5.5 per
cent of Vietnam’s gross domestic product (GDP).
“Industrial environmental pollution will continue taking a bigger toll
of the economy and people’s lives, given the country’s careless
industrial development without taking environmental protection into
account seriously,” said delegate Le Dinh Khanh from Hai Duong province.
Articles 24 of the draft Law on Fine Imposition, expected to be
ratified this week, stipulates that the maximum fine level for
environmental violation is VND2 billion ($96,600), a four-fold rise
against the current maximum fine in the existing Ordinance of Fine
Under the draft law, violators may also have their business
certificates revoked for one or two years and foreign violators could be
booted out of Vietnam.