Lee & Man Paper ​Vietnam Limited in Hau Giang province has admitted to polluting the environment, affecting nearby households, during a dry run of its waste treatment plant. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Minister of Environment and Natural Resources Tran Hong Ha has urged the Mekong Delta province of Hau Giang to establish a community-based monitoring mechanism to evaluate the effectiveness of papermaker Lee & Man Vietnam Ltd.’s environmental treatment.

In a visit to the company’s paper mill on October 19, he asked the papermaker to complete a standard procedure for management and operation of its waste treatment and keep daily records of materials used for environmental treatment and publicise them.

The firm was also requested to ensure the capability of solid and hazard waste treatment providers and control odors, particularly at night and when it rains.

The minister assigned the province to make a list of local firms dumping a lot of waste and submit it to the ministry, and to set up a system for automated surface water quality monitoring along the Hau River and transfer the data to the provincial Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

[Paper factory pollution under scrutiny]

Lee & Man Vietnam Ltd. has completed construction of a 1.2-billion-USD paper factory, which started in 2007, at Phu Huu A Industrial Cluster along the Hau River in Hau Giang.

It is the largest paper factory in Vietnam and one of the five largest in the world, capable of manufacturing 330,000 tonnes of pulp and 420,000 tonnes of packaging paper a year. It disposes an estimated 13,000 cu.m of wastewater per day.

Last December, the facility was allowed to begin testing its waste treatment plant, but then ceased due to pollution.

The company was accused of causing noise, dust and a bad odour, affecting nearby households. It later took responsibility for the pollution.

Minister Tran Hong Ha took the occasion to visit affected families, asking them to continue informing local authorities about the factory’s operation.

The ministry plans to allow the factory to be put into operation at the end of October.-VNA