>> Cause of mass fish deaths needs independent commentaries
Taiwan’s Formosa Plastics Corp. has taken full responsibility for a toxic discharge from its Vietnamese steel plant that led to mass fish deaths. The case has raised the question whether the government will say no to projects which cause environmental pollution.
Formosa admitted to its responsibility for the massive pollution and pledged USD500 million in compensation following a three-month investigation.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment finally made a public announcement on the issue following direction from the Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.
What is so special about this?
Firstly, the case happened just a few days after the new government was appointed. Secondly, there was huge pressure from the public to provide an accurate, honest and rapid assessment.
Speaking with reporters, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Tran Hong Ha said that the 84-day investigation was very stressful due to the weight of public expectations.
Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Tran Hong Ha
Minister Ha said that before the compensation, Formosa also made the commitment that if the same problem was repeated, they would have to close their operations in Vietnam.
Ha also said that some loopholes still exist in Vietnam’s environmental protection policies and these will be tackled in the coming time.
He said it was time for the government to prioritise environmentally-friendly projects. “We have to resolutely say no to projects which can pollute the environment,” the minister emphasised.
The public are waiting for what Minister Ha and the rest of the country's authorities do when projects that could pollute the environment are tabled.