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Power generator to pour 2.4 mil m3 of sludge into Binh Thuan sea

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Just days after authorities permitted Vinh Tan 1 power plant to pour nearly 1 million cubic meters of sludge into the sea, EVNGENCO 3, another power generator, said it wanted to pour 2.4 million cubic meters of sludge into the Binh Thuan sea.

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Tran Le Trung Hieu, chief secretariat of EVNGENCO 3, a subsidiary of the Electricity of Vietnam (EVN), told the press that the plan is expected to be implemented in 2017. 

The area where EVENGENCO 3 plans to pour sludge to is 5 kilometers from the place where Vinh Tan 1 will pour sludge and 10 kilometers far from Hon Cau MPA (marine protected area). 

The sludge will be produced during the passage dredging to receive 100,000-ton vessels which serve shipping of coal imports from Australia and Indonesia.

Scientists have warned that inorganic sediment will cover coral reefs, while organic sediments will be in a state of suspension.

The turbid water will reduce the intensity of light passing through, thus affecting the photosynthesis of the algae. The corals in the waters, including thousands of groups of corals which have been relocated to Hon Cau, will die.

Nguyen Tac An, former director of the Nha Trang Institute of Oceanography, said that research by Rutgers University found that in 1989, when Americans poured sludge into the waters off the coast of New York, heavy particles needed 69 hours to 100 days to sink to the bottom, while smaller particles were suspended 100 to 10,000 days before sinking. 

Only 20 percent of matter settled directly into the discharged area, while the remaining  dispersed to other areas. 

The affected area in Vietnam could be as large as 170 miles. 

Vo Si Tuan, head of the Nha Trang Oceanography Institute, said at a workshop in February that the institute has finished the relocation of 10,000 clusters of corals to Hon Cau MPA to make room for the passage dredging that serves the construction of Vinh Tan Themopower Plant. Most of the coral has been developing well in the new area. 

However, experts said the relocation of coral is a last resort, while relocation of coral is not encouraged because it will bring environmental consequences.

Nguyen Chu Hoi from the Hanoi National University, stressed that any action that leads to negative impact on MPAs must be seen as a violation of the law.

 

Source: VietNamNet

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