Environment minister grilled over environmental protection hinh anh 1Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Tran Hong Ha (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Tran Hong Ha took the floor to field deputies’ questions at the ongoing second session of the 14th National Assembly in Hanoi on November 15.

Responding to queries about waste treatment at industrial and service facilities, craft villages and residential areas, Ha said the ministry is in charge of waste treatment infrastructure while the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is directly responsible for waste treatment.

On possible solutions, he said the first task is classifying agriculture-reliant, suburban and urbanised rural areas so as to devise appropriate planning, policies and resources.

The ministries of Natural Resources and Environment, Construction, Agriculture and Rural Development need to issue criteria for new rural construction, including those regarding planning and rural infrastructure, and waste collection, he said.

In agriculture-reliant areas, every household should be guided on how to classify garbage and adopt biogas model in breeding.

In case of any environmental pollution incident, Ha said specific responsibilities should be assigned to central and local authorities, from the approval, design, survey of environmental impacts to supervising firms.

Asked about recovery efforts from the environment incident caused by Taiwan-invested Formosa steel company in the central province of Ha Tinh, Ha said the ministry has established a group of prestigious scientists to consider remedy plan and monitor the quality of waste and exhaust fume as well as discharges.

To deal with the pollution, a 10ha ecological reservoir equipped with advanced technology is planned to stand at the end of wastewater discharging pipelines, in which fish and mangrove ecosystem live together, to ensure that discharges are safe before being released.

The ministry has also designed marine environment monitor systems in the central provinces of Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri and Thua Thien-Hue.

In case Formosa is yet to sign contract with capable waste treatment companies, its wastes will be stored together with industrial and hazardous ones.

In coordination with Ha Tinh authorities, the ministry is accelerating the progress of building waste treatment facilities in registered firms.

Formosa was also asked to seek partners to turn pulverised fuel ash into construction materials, he said, adding that the company has invited the world’s well-known consulting firms to help with changing manufacturing and treatment technologies, so as to fully prevent possible risks of pollution.

Regarding the response to climate change, Ha said the ministry has devised a scenario for the Mekong Delta, recovered mangrove forests in the south central, and closed natural forests in the Central Highlands.

The government has also tasked the ministry with implementing a scheme on land subsidence in Ho Chi Minh City and the Mekong Delta, thereby mapping out an appropriate climate change scenario.

According to Ha, the environmental impact reports also offer forecast and fail to give an overview of general impacts on the environment. The ministry asked the government consider adjusting the Law on Environment Protection and relevant provisions in this regard.

As scheduled on November 16, Minister Ha will continue answering questions in the morning.-VNA