Monday, May 18, 2015

Is Dong Nai River filled with dioxin-contaminated soil?

VietNamNet Bridge - The Dong Nai provincial authorities on May 7 convened an urgent meeting to clarify information provided by a local newspaper that the Dong Nai River is being filled with dioxin-contaminated soil and rocks taken from an area near Bien Hoa Airport.
The urgent meeting was held just several hours after an article in Thoi Nay, indicating that Toan Thinh Phat, the contractor for the project on Dong Nai riverside improvement and urban development, is filling the River with soil and rocks from a dioxin-contaminated area.
The public reacted strongly to the news. Thoi Nay is a publication of Nhan Dan (the People), the organ of the Vietnamese Communist Party, and therefore, any news released by the newspaper can cause repercussions to the society.
The project on improving the Dong Nai riverside landscape appeared in local newspapers a few weeks ago when environmentalists issued a warning about the danger the project could bring. Locals repeatedly called on to stop the project implementation.
The article could not show convincing evidence for Toan Thinh Phat’s actions. It only raised a question if the soil and rocks exploited from the Bien Hoa Airport were being used for the Dong Nai riverside landscape improvement.
The reporters quoted a leader of the Bien Hoa Airport as saying that a big volume of soil and rocks from the airport has been taken by Toan Thinh Phat and carried away both on air and by land.

The Department of Natural Resources and the Environment, the Department of Construction and the Bien Hoa Airport management unit have been checking sources of materials used for Dong Nai River project.
Meanwhile, Dong Nai newspaper quoted Tran Van Dung from Regiment No 935 which now manages the Bien Hoa Airport as saying that no rock exploitation activities are being carried out within the campus of Bien Hoa Airport.
There is only one project under implementation there – the one on building a water reservoir, implemented by Than Dong Bac, a mineral investment joint stock company.
However, a Than Dong Bac representative affirmed that the company has had tested soil taken from the reservoir bed and dioxin was not found.
He went on to say that the soil taken from there has been transferred to Hung Thinh Phat, a company in Ba Ria-Vung Tau province, for use, and the soil has not been provided to serve the Dong Nai river project.
Meanwhile, Toan Thinh Phat, the suspected culprit, said that it used the soil and rocks sourced from Thanh Phu, Vinh Cuu and Tan Cang quarries in Dong Nai and Tan Uyen quarry in Binh Duong provinces.

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