Tan Rai Bauxite complex accused of polluting environment

Dozens of households in Cluster 21, Loc Thang Town, Bao Lam District, Lam Dong Province have complained about the discharged water from Tan Rai Bauxite plant while the investor claims water samples tested safe.

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Tan Rai Bauxite complex

According to the locals, the water has white foam and foul smell. Some people said they felt sick after inhaling the smell.

Phan Ba Thuong, head of Cluster 21 said, “We have filed complaints with the authorities multiple times but nothing has been dealt with. Everyone is upset.”

The locals also recorded a video clip that shows the foaming water. Where the water ran through, the grass wilted.

Nguyen Tuan Anh, chief of Lam Dong Aluminium Company’s office, investors of the plant, said the authorities had taken samples for tests and the results were safe. “The water has been treated before being discharged. It has white foam but isn’t harmful,” he said.

When being asked about the clip, Anh said their employees reported that they didn’t find anything like what was shown in the clip but then proceeded on saying that “maybe it’s an old clip that was recorded before?”

Nguyen Ba Dong, head of Bao Lam Department of Natural Resources and Environment, claimed the test results were safe. The authorities of Loc Thang Town haven’t reported on the latest situation so he couldn’t comment.

Phan Ba Thuong, head of Cluster 21, disagreed with the results because the water samples were not taken from the discharge location, but some 1km away. The locals also questioned why the factory’s operation was halted whenever the authorities came to take water samples. They said Tan Rai Bauxite often discharged water during the rain to hide their activities.

“We don’t believe it. The fish died, plants died. Some days, the white substance covers everything from our coffee plants to our houses. Not to mention the foul smell from the red mud reservoirs. We had to send our two youngest children to live with relatives because they are always sick,” said Nguyen Thi Kim.

Meanwhile, Tuong The Ha, deputy director of Lam Dong Aluminium Plant said in the latest inspection, they didn’t interfere and let the locals monitor how the water samples were taken.

“But they still don’t believe the results. We feel tired too. We’ve asked Lam Dong People’s Committee to find a solution and punish those spread false information that affects the company,” he warned.

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