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Shipbuilder could loose license if toxic dumping proved true

Ho Chi Minh City: Hyundai Vinashin's operation license could be revoked if accusations that the company tried to dump toxic waste near a residential area are proven to be true, an official said.
Ministry-level inspectors are investigating Hyundai Vinashin for attempting to dump 60 tons of toxic waste near a residential area in Khanh Hoa Province last week, the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Pham Khoi Nguyen told Sai Gon Giai Phong newspaper.
Nguyen said the ministry needs to inspect the waste and check the contract between the shipyard and the man hired to transport and dump the waste.
After a visit to the shipyard, inspectors from central Vietnam's Environment Protection Bureau proposed Tuesday that the Khanh Hoa Province Department of Natural Resources and Environment penalize Hyundai Vinashin for the violation.
They said they had enough of a basis to penalize the shipyard company as tests showed the waste was toxic and the company hired a person who was not qualified to handle the poisonous material.
Khanh Hoa Province Environmental Police caught Hyundai Vinashin trucks just before they dumped 60 tons of toxic waste near a residential area in Ninh Diem Commune on July 8.
The trucks were then ordered to take the waste back to the shipyard.
Hyundai Vinashin's administrative manager Chung Seong Doo said the company had decided to dump the waste after its materials staff reported that the waste was "normal" and harmless mud and iron rust.
The shipyard, a joint-venture between South Korea's Hyundai Mipo and the Vietnam Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (Vinashin) opened in 1999 as a  repair site. This year the yard has forayed into the newbuild sector taking many bulker orders.
Eight out of ten factories and industrial parks in Vietnam breach environmental regulations, state media reported Thursday, citing a government study in the rapidly-industrialising country.
The survey of more than 400 enterprises found many "lacked even the most basic awareness of environmental issues," said the deputy head of the Environmental Protection Department, Nguyen Hoa Binh, according to the state-run Vietnam News daily.  [18/7/08]


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