A view of Hung Nghiep Formosa Ha Tinh (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – More than one year since the maritime environmental incident ravaged four central provinces, information about the results of investigations into Hung Nghiep Formosa Ha Tinh, has been made public while the supervision over activities of the violator has been carried out strictly.

According to Formosa’s report and its roadmap to fix the incident and monitor the environment, as of May 2017, the quality of seawater in 19 beaches in the provinces of Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri and Thua Thien-Hue is in safe level.

Wastewater released by the company has met Vietnam’s standards since July 27, 2017. The quality of water, seabed deposit and coastal aquatics near Formosa’s factory basically met permissible levels. However, the underground water taken from five places in and outside the company failed some environmental indexes.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment reported that Formosa has paid fine and basically fixed its administrative violations. Among 22 work items, 12 have been completed and qualified for official operation, while 6 are in test run and the remaining four are yet to be commissioned. The firm is scheduled to finish the shift from “wet” coking system to “dry” method by June 2019.

The incident was first spotted on April 6, 2016 when massive dead fish washed ashore in Ha Tinh and then in Quang Binh, Quang Tri and Thua Thien Hue.

About 70 tonnes of dead fish were found in the four provinces and Thua Thien-Hue alone reported 35 tonnes of farmed fish had died.

The pollution also affected more than 260,000 people who earn their living from the sea.

In June 2016, Formosa accepted responsibility for the mass fish deaths and pledged compensation to local fishermen and to help recover the polluted marine environment.

Thanks to urgent support for fishermen in the four affected localities, the locals’ livelihoods have been basically stabilized.

At the same time, aquatic sources have seen initial recovery with the reappearance of many species. As many as 70-80 percent of fishing boats operating near the shore and 90 percent of offshore fishing vessels have resumed their operation.

The distribution of Formosa’s compensation has been conducted in an open and transparent manner.

In order to deal with issues related to the incident, the Prime Minister has asked ministries, sectors and localities directly involved to strictly review and assess the incident’s  impacts and consequences, while effectively implementing compensations and support to fishermen.

The PM also underlined the need to keep a close and long-term watch on Formosa’s moves to fix the incident and implement regulations on environment, and promptly handle individuals and organizations with violations.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has been assigned to work with localities to set up environment monitoring systems in central provinces, while the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is tasked to define losses and implement compensation and support to recover production and ensure social security for affected people as well as recover aquatic resources and ecosystems.

The Ministry of Health has also been assigned to implement regular supervision and tests to seafood caught in the four localities and promptly inform the results to the community.

All the relevant ministries and sectors have been requested to submit reports on Formosa’s responsibilities to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment by May 15 before they are sent to the PM later.-VNA