[enviro-vlc] Vietnamese farmers sue Taiwan company over pollution
vern.weitzel at gmail.com
Thu Jul 29 01:55:16 EST 2010
From: Stephen Denney <srdenney at gmail.com>
Date: 28 July 2010 8:46:54 AM PDT
To: vnnews-l at anu.edu.au
Subject: [vnnews-l] ENV/FDI/AG: Vietnamese farmers sue Taiwan company over pollution
Vietnamese farmers sue Taiwan company over pollution
Posted : Wed, 28 Jul 2010 02:01:24 GMT
By : dpa
Category : Environment
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Hanoi - Vietnamese farmers on Wednesday sued a Taiwan-owned condiment
company after failing to agree on compensation for the pollution of a
river, officials said.
Inspectors accuse Vedan Vietnam Inc of discharging a total of 45,000
cubic metres of contaminated effluent through concealed pipes, from
the mid-1990s until September 2008, severely damaging local fish and
shrimp stocks and effectively killing a 12-kilometre stretch of the
Thi Vai River in southern Vietnam.
Farmers' groups in three provinces affected by Vedan's alleged
pollution - Ho Chi Minh City, Ba Ria-Vung Tau and Dong Nai provinces -
in coordination with government officials had negotiated for nearly
two years with Vedan over reparations for the company's illegal
discharges. But the talks reached an impasse.
"Once we have decided to sue Vedan, we believe we win," said Nguyen
Van Phung, deputy chairman of Ho Chi Minh City's Farmer Association.
"Through suing Vedan, we want to warn other companies not to pollute
the environment," said Do Van Thach, head of Inspection and Consulting
Department of Ba Ria-Vung Tau province's Farmer Association, which
helped farmers sue Vedan.
Thach said 1,255 farmers in his province would finish filing a lawsuit
against Vedan by next week, to ask Vedan for compensation of 2.9
million dollars. On Tuesday, the first 165 farmers filed their
lawsuits in Ba Ria Vung Tau court.
Vedan had offered to pay Ba Ria Vung Tau's farmers 540,000 dollars,
but Thach said his organization's statistics showed Vedan should pay
farmers in the south-eastern coastal province 2.9 million dollars.
Phung said 840 farmers of Ho Chi Minh City would sue Vedan to ask for
compensation of 107 billion dong (5.7 million dollars). Vedan offered
to pay farmers only 862,000 dollars.
Tran Van Quang, chairman of the Dong Nai farmers' association, said
that Dong Nai provincial authorities were seeking 6.3 million dollars
in compensation. Vedan only agreed to pay his farmers 1.6 million
"Their figures are not convincing at all," Vedan lawyer Hoang Nhu Vinh
said. "They are not scientific and are not based on a solid
Vinh said he hoped the two sides could agree on a settlement while
litigation was under way.
In October 2008, Vedan was ordered to suspend operations temporarily
and pay a 7.7-million-dollar fine.
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