Minister supports plan to to bury sludge in sea waters

Created 15 November 2017
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The news that over 400,000 tons of sludge may be submerged into the sea to create a passageway for a port has caused concerns among residents in Binh Dinh Province.
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MONRE's Minister Tran Hong Ha (left)

Director of the Binh Dinh Province’s Department of Natural Resources and the Environment Dang Trung Thanh on October 31 confirmed that the province is considering licensing a project on submerging 349,000 cubic meters of sludge.

Former Binh Dinh Party Committee secretary To Tu Thanh said the local authorities need to be cautious about the project. He said it was necessary to identify the position for sludge submerging to avoid severe consequences.

Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment Tran Hong Ha said that sinking sludge after dredging is done in other countries and that dredging for the passage to the port is a must.

“When storms and floods come, they will affect the submerged sludge and blacken Quy Nhon sea, while the dirt will be brought into the city,” he warned.

Nguyen Pham Kien Trung, director of Mien Trung Tourism, and deputy chair of the Binh Dinh Tourism Association, said it is necessary to rethink the plan because the purity of the sea is an invaluable natural resource.

“The sludge submerging will have a negative impact on the area, which is the habitat of many fish species,” he said. “Quy Nhon sea will get muddy. This will certainly affect the landscape.”

Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment Tran Hong Ha said that sinking sludge after dredging is done in other countries and that dredging for the passage to the port is a must.

“Not only seaports in Vietnam, but seaports in other countries also need dredging and the waste is submerged,” Ha said.

However, he emphasized that the submerging needs to be implemented in a scientific way. “It is necessary to calculate the plan thoroughly to ensure benefits to the environment and other areas,” he said.

An expert said submerging sludge is a reasonable solution applied in other countries as well. However, in these countries, the submerging is carried out only after thorough research on the possible impact on the environment. 

“The position for submerging must be surveyed thoroughly to find the possible impacts on the environment, biodiversity conservation and aquatic resources,” he said.

Meanwhile, Minister Ha affirmed that in some countries, even hazardous waste is submerged, provided that there are reasonable technological solutions.

Binh Dinh’s vice chair Tran Chau said that provincial authorities planned to submerge the sludge. He said Binh Dinh has experience in this field: submerging was carried out several times in the past and ‘there have been no special problems’.


Source: Dat Viet - Bridge

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