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Apr 25, 2024 / 13:26

Hanoi takes drastic action against environmental violations

Hanoi will strengthen environmental protection in the capital and raise people's awareness via training courses on the implementation of the Law on Environmental Protection and legal documents.

With environmental violations still rampant in Hanoi, the city authorities have tightened management and taken drastic measures to deal with offenders.

Trinh Viet Dan, Chief Inspector of the Hanoi Department of Natural Resources and Environment (DONRE), said the department has stepped up inspections of production facilities, industrial clusters, and handicraft villages that pose a high risk of polluting the environment and affecting people's health.

"Improper dumping of waste, transporting waste without a cover so that it spills onto the road, throwing waste in public places and discharging wastewater that exceeds standards are the main irregularities found in some artisan villages, industrial zones, and urban areas during the inspection," Dan added. 

 Hanoi students plant trees to protect the environment in Soc Son District. Photo: Pham Hung/The Hanoi Times

Specifically, in Nam Tu Liem District, the inspection team fined eight vehicles for spilling construction materials on the road, 25 cases of dumping solid waste in improper places, two cases of discharging sewage in public places, eight cases of dumping household waste, totaling more than VND800 million (US$31,483).

In Ha Dong District, authorities fined offenders more than VND1.5 billion ($59,031) for over-discharging wastewater, violating environmental protection regulations, and harming people's health.

In 2023, the city authorities sent 90 inspection teams to nearly 3,000 businesses, 1,500 of which were found to have violated environmental regulations and fined a total of VND20 billion ($787,092).

Drastic measures

The inspections revealed shortcomings in the regulatory work. Follow-up inspections have not been focused, resulting in repeated violations. As a result, Hanoi's land, water, and air are becoming increasingly polluted.  

Nguyen Minh Tan, deputy director of DONRE, said that to curb environmental violations, public awareness will be raised and training courses on the implementation of the Law on Environmental Protection and legal documents related to environmental protection will be organized.

"The DONRE has also guided compliance with environmental protection laws, dealt strictly with violations, and taken action against environmental pollution. Wastewater and exhaust gases must meet standards before being discharged into the environment," said Tan.

He added that the department has asked the city to increase funding for investment in connecting wastewater to treatment plants in industrial clusters into a centralized sewage treatment system.

Hanoi has also taken drastic measures to improve the management of solid waste, which has fallen short of environmental protection requirements.  

In terms of waste collection and transport, the DONRE official urged the district people's committees to continue to improve the quality of urban sanitation management.

"The districts need to coordinate closely with DONRE and specialized agencies in the transportation of domestic solid waste. In the coming period, a waste volume data system must be established to ensure publicity and transparency in solid waste transportation and treatment," Tan said.

DONRE has installed more waste bins and public toilets, carried out communication activities to raise people's awareness, and launched an emulation movement for environmental sanitation, such as planting more flowers on vacant lots along roads and riverbanks to prevent them from becoming dumping grounds.

In addition, the Department has asked local authorities to set up hotlines and on-duty staff to receive timely feedback so that any issues arising can be dealt with promptly.