The Vietnam Environment Administration on January 7 announced the country's biggest polluters, after inspections conducted by the agency last year revealed over 100 companies breaking environmental laws.
Last year's inspections covered 429 industrial zones nationwide and they detected 157 enterprises committing violations of the Law of Environment Protection. Combined fines have reached the tune of 32.7 billion VND (1.57 million USD).

Among those found to be breaching regulations was the Tho Quang Seafood Processing Industrial Zone, a hot spot for pollution in the central city of Da Nang. It reportedly discharged more than 1,500 cubic metres of untreated waste into a nearby pipe system every day.

Another big polluter is the HCM City-based Dai Phuc Services and Mechanical Production Company, which was discovered discharging water contaminated with oil and hazardous waste, causing severe pollution.

As well as paying administrative fines and implementing the clean-up of the sites they contaminated, polluters are subject to having their business licences revoked. Environmental inspectors recommended that this action be taken in the case of the Dai Phuc Company.

This year the agency is set to step up inspections in seven key areas, with a particular focus on enterprises who store, process and exploit oil and those who have licences in managing hazardous waste.-VNA