Environmental protection during production, business operation in Vietnam

by Hà Ngọc

Vietnam law has regulations on environmental protection during production, business operation. Let’s find out this issue with lawyer X through the following situation: “Dear Lawyer! I want to know what are regulations on environmental protection in economic zones? What are regulations on environmental protection in dedicated areas for production, business operation and service provision in Vietnam? Thanks for answering my questions”

  • Vietnam law on environmental protection

Environmental protection in economic zones

– An economic zone must have environmental protection infrastructure, including:

+ A solid waste collection and storage system;

+ A rainwater collection and drainage system;

+ A wastewater collection, drainage and treatment system which ensures that treated wastewater complies with environmental protection requirements; automatic and continuous wastewater monitoring system if the economic zone has a centralized wastewater treatment system and is required to carry out automatic and continuous monitoring in accordance with this Law;

+ Green space with the ratio prescribed by the law on construction.

– Economic zone management boards must have an environmental protection department and personnel in charge of environmental protection majoring in environment or field suitable for their assigned tasks.

– Every economic zone management board shall:

+ inspect and supervise the construction of environmental protection infrastructure in dedicated areas for industrial production of the economic zone as prescribed by law;

+ cooperate with local environmental protection authorities in appraising EIARs, issuing environmental licenses, carrying out environmental protection inspection and perform other environmental protection-related tasks in the economic zone as prescribed by law;

+ carry out inspection of environmental protection by businesses, dedicated areas for production, business operation and service provision and industrial cluster in the economic zone according to the plan approved by the provincial People’s Committee;

+ promptly discover violations against the law on environmental protection committed by entities and propose penalties therefor as prescribed by law;

+ perform other environmental protection-related tasks assigned by the provincial People’s Committee as prescribed by law;

+ submit a report on environmental protection by the economic zone as prescribed by law;

+ assume other responsibilities prescribed by law.

Environmental protection in dedicated areas for production, business operation and service provision

– A dedicated area for production, business operation and service provision must have environmental protection infrastructure, including:

+ A rainwater collection and drainage system; centralized wastewater collection, drainage and treatment system which ensures that treated wastewater satisfies environmental protection requirements;

+ Works and equipment serving environmental emergency prevention and response for wastewater as prescribed by law;

+ An automatic and continuous wastewater monitoring system for the centralized wastewater treatment system as prescribed by this Law;

+ Green space with the ratio prescribed by the law on construction.

– Management boards of industrial parks, export-processing zones and hi-tech zones of provinces and central-affiliated cities must have an environmental protection department and personnel in charge of environmental protection majoring in environment or field suitable for their assigned tasks.

– Every management board of an industrial park, export-processing zone or hi-tech zone of a province or central-affiliated city shall:

+ inspect and supervise the construction of environmental protection infrastructure in dedicated areas for production, business operation and service provision as prescribed by law;

+ cooperate with local environmental protection authorities in appraising EIARs, issuing environmental licenses, carrying out environmental protection inspection and perform other environmental protection-related tasks in dedicated areas for production, business operation and service provision as prescribed by law;

+ carry out inspection of environmental protection in dedicated areas for production, business operation and service provision as prescribed by law;

+ promptly discover violations against the law on environmental protection committed by entities and propose penalties therefor as prescribed by law;

+ submit a report on environmental protection in dedicated areas for production, business operation and service provision as prescribed by law;

+ perform other environmental protection-related tasks assigned by the provincial People’s Committee as prescribed by law;

+ assume other responsibilities prescribed by law.

– Every investor in construction and commercial operation of infrastructure of a dedicated area for production, business operation and service provision shall:

+ satisfy the requirements set out in Clause 1 of this Article;

+ arrange dedicated areas and types of production, business and services in conformity with environmental protection requirements;

+ construct a rainwater collection and drainage system separately from the centralized wastewater collection, drainage and treatment system;

+ collect and connect wastewater of facilities in the dedicated area for production, business operation and service provision to the centralized water collection, drainage and treatment system;

+ request facilities discharging treated wastewater into the rainwater collection and drainage system to halt discharge of treated wastewater into the rainwater collection and drainage system within 24 months from the effective date of this Law;

+ provide personnel in charge of environmental protection majoring in environment or field suitable for their assigned tasks;

+ cooperate with an environmental protection authority, management board of an industrial park, export-processing zone, hi-tech zone or economic zone of a province or central-affiliated city in environmental protection; cooperate in organizing inspection of environmental protection by facilities in the dedicated area for production, business operation and service provision as prescribed by law;

+ organize the inspection of fulfillment of environmental commitments by the investment project/business owner upon registering investment in the dedicated area for production, business operation and service provision;

+ promptly discover violations against the law on environmental protection committed by entities and propose penalties therefor as prescribed by law;

+ promulgate environmental protection regulations of the dedicated area for production, business operation and service provision in conformity with environmental protection requirements as prescribed by law;

+ carry out environmental monitoring as prescribed by law;

+ prepare a report on environmental protection in the dedicated area for production, business operation and service provision and send it to the provincial specialized environmental protection authority, licensing authority and management board of the industrial park, export-processing zone, hi-tech zone or economic zone of the province or central-affiliated city as prescribed by law;

+ assume other responsibilities prescribed by law.

– Provincial People’s Committees shall:

+ assist in construction and operation of infrastructure serving environmental protection in dedicated areas for production, business operation and service provision invested in by the State within their provinces;

+ direct specialized agencies and management boards of industrial parks, export-processing zones, hi-tech zones and economic zones of provinces and central-affiliated cities to comply with regulations of law on environmental protection applicable to dedicated areas for production, business and service provision;

+ promulgate regulations on encouraging involvement of private sector in construction, commercial operation and operation of infrastructure serving environmental protection in dedicated areas for production, business and service provision;

+ assume other responsibilities prescribed by law.

– The Government shall elaborate this Article.

Environmental protection in industrial clusters

– Every industrial cluster must have the environmental protection infrastructure specified in Clause 1 Article 51 of this Law.

– An industrial cluster that is operating must satisfy the following requirements:

+ The environmental protection infrastructure specified in Clause 1 Article 51 of this Law must be completed within 24 months from the effective date of this Law;

+ In the case of exemption from connection to the centralized wastewater collection, drainage and treatment system, it is required to ensure that treated wastewater complies with environmental protection requirements before discharging it into the environment; there should be an environmental emergency prevention and response scheme tailored for the wastewater and automatic and continuous wastewater monitoring system as prescribed by law.

– An investor in construction and commercial operation of an industrial cluster shall:

+ satisfy the requirements set out in Clause 1 of this Article;

+ construct, manage and operate environmental protection infrastructure as prescribed in Clause 1 of this Article.

+ not accept new projects and capacity increase of existing projects that generate waste in the industrial cluster before a centralized wastewater collection, drainage and treatment system is available;

+ collect and connect wastewater of facilities in the industrial cluster to the centralized water collection, drainage and treatment system;

+ request facilities discharging treated wastewater into the rainwater collection and drainage system to halt discharge of treated wastewater into the rainwater collection and drainage system within 24 months from the effective date of this Law;

+ assign at least one person in charge of environmental protection majoring in environment or field suitable for his/her assigned tasks;

+ cooperate with an environmental protection authority in environmental protection; cooperate in organizing inspection of environmental protection by facilities in the industrial cluster as prescribed by law;

+ organize the inspection of fulfillment of environmental commitments by the investment project/business owner upon registering investment in the industrial cluster;

+ promptly discover violations against the law on environmental protection committed by entities and propose penalties therefor as prescribed by law;

+ promulgate regulations on environmental protection of the industrial cluster in conformity with the environmental protection requirements as prescribed by law;

+ prepare a report on environmental protection by the industrial cluster and send it to the provincial specialized environmental protection authority, licensing authority and district-level People’s Committee as prescribed by law;

+ assume other responsibilities prescribed by law.

– Encouragement of private sector involvement and provision of incentives and assistance to investors in construction and commercial operation of environmental protection infrastructure of industrial clusters shall comply with regulations of the Government and provincial People’s Committees.

– District-level People’s Committees shall:

+ construct, manage and operate infrastructure serving environmental protection in industrial clusters if investors on construction and commercial operation of industrial cluster infrastructure are not available.

+ prepare a list of industrial clusters that fail to have a centralized wastewater collection, drainage and treatment system within their districts and notify the provincial People’s Committees;

+ assume other responsibilities prescribed by law.

– Provincial People’s Committees shall:

+ direct specialized agencies, district and communal-level People’s Committee to comply with regulations of law on environmental protection of industrial clusters;

+ promulgate regulations on encouraging involvement of private sector in construction, commercial operation and operation of infrastructure serving environmental protection in industrial clusters;

+ introduce a roadmap for relocate residents (if any) from industrial clusters.

Environmental protection in businesses

– Every business shall:

+ collect and treat wastewater in line with environmental protection requirements. If the business operates in an industrial cluster, dedicated area for production, business operation and service provision, urban area or high density residential area that has a centralized wastewater collection, drainage and treatment system, the business owner shall connect wastewater to the centralized wastewater collection, drainage and treatment of the investor in construction and commercial operation of that centralized wastewater collection, drainage and treatment system, except for the case where the business has been exempted from wastewater connection before the effective date of this Law;

+ comply with regulations set forth in Point dd Clause 4 Article 51 and Point dd Clause 3 Article 52 of this Law, regarding the business operating in an industrial cluster or dedicated area for production, business operation and service provision and discharging treated wastewater into the rainwater collection and drainage system;

+ collect, classify, store, reuse, recycle and treat waste as prescribe by this Law;

+ reduce, collect and treat dusts, emissions and unpleasant odors; ensure noxious gases are not leaked or released into the environment; control noise, vibration, light and heat radiation;

+ provide resources and equipment for environmental emergency prevention and response;

+ regarding the business specified in Point b Clause 2 Article 111 and Clause 2 Article 112 hereof, provide personnel in charge of environmental protection majoring in environment or field suitable for their assigned tasks; establish an environmental management system according to the national standard TCVN ISO 14001 or international standard ISO 14001;

+ carry out monitoring of wastewater, dusts and exhaust gases in accordance with this Law.

– In the following cases, businesses and warehouses must maintain a safe environmental distance from residential areas:

+ Flammable and explosive substances are present;

+ Radioactive substances, radioactive waste or radiation equipment is present;

+ Substances harmful to humans and animals are present;

+ There is a risk of generating dusts, unpleasant odors or noise resulting in adverse impacts on human health;

+ There is a risk of causing water contamination.

– Household or individual businesses that generate wastewater or exhaust gases must have works or equipment for in situ waste treatment in accordance with environmental protection requirements or regulations of the provincial People’s Committee.

– The Government shall elaborate Clause 2 of this Article.

– The Minister of Natural Resources and Environment shall provide technical guidance and assess conformity of works or equipment for in situ waste treatment specified in Clause 3 of this Article.

– The provincial People’s Committee shall introduce a roadmap to the business in Clause 2 of this Article operating within its province and failing to maintain the safe environmental distance.

Environmental protection during production business operation in Vietnam
Environmental protection during production business operation in Vietnam

Responsibility of producers and importers for recycling

– Producers and importers of recyclable products and packages must recycle them according to the mandatory recycling rate and specifications, except for products and packages exported/temporarily imported or produced/imported for research, learning or testing purposes.

– The producers and importers specified in Clause 1 of this Article are entitled to recycle products and packages adopting one of the following methods:

+ Organize recycling of products and packages;

+ Make a financial contribution to the Vietnam Environment Protection Fund to support recycling of products and packages.

– The producers and importers specified in Clause 1 of this Article shall register their recycling plans and submit annual reports on recycling results to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, except for the case in Point b Clause 2 of this Article.

– The financial contribution and use of financial assistance in recycling of products and packages specified in Point b Clause 2 of this Article shall adhere to the following principles:

+ The financial contributions and financial assistance in recycling are determined according to the quantity or unit of products/packages;

+ Financial contributions are used to support the recycling of products and packages specified in Clause 1 of this Article;

+ The receipt and use of financial contributions must be carried out in a public and transparent manner and for intended purposes in accordance with law.

– The Government shall elaborate and introduce a roadmap for implementation of this Article.

Responsibility of producers and importers for waste collection and treatment

– The producers and importers of products and packages which contain toxic substances, are difficult to recycle or cause a difficulty in collection and treatment must make a financial contribution to support the activities mentioned in Clause 3 of this Article, except for products exported/temporarily imported or produced/imported for research, learning or testing purposes.

– The producers and importers specified in Clause 1 of this Article shall make a financial contribution to the Vietnam Environment Protection Fund; the financial contributions shall be determined according to the quantity or unit of products/packages.

– Activities supported by the Vietnam Environment Protection Fund include:

+ Collecting, transporting and treating domestic solid waste generated from households and individuals;

+ Researching and developing technologies, techniques and initiatives for domestic solid waste treatment;

+ Collecting, transporting and handling packages containing agrochemicals.

– The receipt and use of financial contributions must be carried out in a public and transparent manner and for intended purposes in accordance with law.

– The Government shall elaborate this Article.

Environmental protection in craft villages

– Every craft village must have an environmental protection plan, an autonomous environmental protection organization and environmental protection infrastructure. Environmental protection infrastructure of a craft village includes:

+ A wastewater and rainwater collection system which meets the craft village’s needs for water drainage;

+ A centralized wastewater collection, drainage and treatment system (if any) which ensures that treated wastewater satisfies environmental protection requirements;

+ A solid waste aggregation point which satisfies technical requirements for environmental protection; a solid waste treatment facility (if any) which complies with regulations on solid waste management or a scheme to transport solid waste to a solid waste treatment facility outside the craft village.

– Manufacturing establishments and households in a craft village must seek and implement environmental protection measures as prescribed by law; implement measures for noise, vibration, light, dusts, heat radiation, emissions and wastewater reduction and in situ pollution remediation; collect, classify, store and treat solid waste as prescribed by law.

– Manufacturing establishments and households involved in industries and business lines that are not recommended in craft villages shall comply with the regulations laid down in Clause 2 of this Article and adhere to the plans for relocation or industry and business line conversion made by competent authorities.

– Communal People’s Committees shall:

+ prepare and implement environmental protection plans for craft villages within their communes;

+ provide guidance on operation of autonomous environmental protection organizations in craft villages.

– District-level People’s Committees shall:

+ estimate budget for environmental protection of craft villages;

+ provide instructions on and develop models for environmental protection of craft villages; produce and operate solid waste collection and treatment models and in situ waste water treatment systems that satisfy environmental protection requirements, which are funded by the State from the budget for construction and environmental protection, and contributions of entities in accordance with regulations of law.

– Provincial People’s Committees shall:

+ formulate planning for, build, renovate and develop craft villages and craft villages clusters in association with environmental protection;

+ provide funding for environmental protection of craft villages;

+ direct and organize assessment of pollution levels and remediation of environmental pollution in local craft villages;

+ direct the construction of wastewater collection and treatment systems; hazardous waste and normal solid waste dump sites and hazardous waste and normal solid waste aggregation points and treatment facilities in craft villages;

+ formulate a plan to relocate facilities causing long-lasting or serious environmental pollution from residential areas and craft villages.

– The Government shall elaborate this Article.

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Frequently asked questions

Must an economic zone have environmental protection infrastructure?

An economic zone must have environmental protection infrastructure, including:
+ A solid waste collection and storage system;
+ A rainwater collection and drainage system;
+ A wastewater collection, drainage and treatment system which ensures that treated wastewater complies with environmental protection requirements; automatic and continuous wastewater monitoring system if the economic zone has a centralized wastewater treatment system and is required to carry out automatic and continuous monitoring in accordance with this Law;
+ Green space with the ratio prescribed by the law on construction.

Must a dedicated area for production, business operation and service provision have environmental protection infrastructure?

A dedicated area for production, business operation and service provision must have environmental protection infrastructure, including:
+ A rainwater collection and drainage system; centralized wastewater collection, drainage and treatment system which ensures that treated wastewater satisfies environmental protection requirements;
+ Works and equipment serving environmental emergency prevention and response for wastewater as prescribed by law;
+ An automatic and continuous wastewater monitoring system for the centralized wastewater treatment system as prescribed by this Law;
+ Green space with the ratio prescribed by the law on construction.

Must management boards of industrial parks, export-processing zones and hi-tech zones of provinces and central-affiliated cities have an environmental protection department?

Management boards of industrial parks, export-processing zones and hi-tech zones of provinces and central-affiliated cities must have an environmental protection department and personnel in charge of environmental protection majoring in environment or field suitable for their assigned tasks.

 

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