Strengthening State Management of Environmental Protection

2:23:21 PM | 13/9/2019

Carrying out the Prime Minister’s direction on combining economic development with environmental protection, Binh Thuan province has paid due attention to State management of environmental protection in production and business activities. Public awareness of abiding by environmental protection laws has been heightened.

Mr. Ho Lam, Director of the Binh Thuan Department of Natural Resources and Environment, said that State management of environmental protection in production, business and service activities has been focused on by the province right from the stage of investment preparation. Complying with Article 25 of the Law on Environmental Protection, the department requests and guides project owners to submit environmental impact assessment reports before requesting competent agencies for investment decisions, for new or revised construction permits, and for new and revised mineral exploration permits. When investors deploy and operate their projects, the department regularly cooperates with local authorities and police forces to inspect their compliance with environmental protection laws in impacted localities; and requests organizations and individuals to strictly comply with environmental protection requirements. They can only go into operation after they are granted certificates of environmental protection by the competent authorities.

To enhance environmental protection inspection of likely polluters, each year, the Department of Natural Resources and Environment reviews, lists and conducts annual inspection and examination. To execute its approved plans, the department has intensified coordination with localities and environmental police to inspect and resolutely handle violations, including measures to surrender or prohibit operations or force facility relocation under the law. Specifically, in 2018, seven inspections were conducted for pig farms, production facilities inside industrial zones and seafood factories that are likely to pollute the surroundings. The department advised competent authorities to handle administrative violations committed by 14 establishments with a total fine of VND3.2 billion. In addition, the department conducted unscheduled inspections on emissions by manufacturing facilities as reported by residents. Violators were fined according to the law.

For environmental hotspots, the Department of Natural Resources and Environment has strengthened its close supervision. Besides, the department advised the Provincial People’s Committee to set up working groups for monitoring environmental hotspots and develop plans for regular monitoring of environmental protection measures of these facilities. Periodically, from the 20th to the 25th day of every month, the department sends environmental reports to the Provincial People’s Committee for consideration and direction. Moreover, the agency consulted the provincial government on many proposals to the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, and the Ministry of Industry and Trade to address environmental issues relating to environmental hotspots (particularly the Vinh Tan Power Center). With monitoring and supervision, no environmental hotspots have been found in the province so far. Environmental situation in Phu Hai Seafood Processing Complex is basically stable. Vinh Tan Power Center has become stable. Particularly for pig farms, the department has regularly inspected, sanctioned and advised competent authorities to suspend and terminate operations under the Investment Law.

To effectively perform state management of environmental protection, early solve pressing environmental issues, and improve environmental quality, in the coming time, Binh Thuan province will focus on reviewing overlapping regulations, suggesting the Government and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to amend and complete policies and laws on environmental protection; intensifying coordination among agencies, and government-business dialogue on environment; changing inspections, examinations and supervisions to promptly detect and strictly handle violations; and accelerating communications and education of local people and businesses on harmful effects of environmental pollution.

Luan Nguyen