Taiwanese plastic company fined $25,000 fined for burying toxic waste in Vietnam

Around 100 tons of waste contained high levels of cyanide were directly buried by Formosa steel plant

Formosa Plastic Group (image from company's websites)

Formosa Plastic Group (image from company's websites)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Formosa Ha Tinh Steel Corp., a steel production unit of the Taiwan-based Formosa Plastics Group received a penalty from Vietnam's government for the illegal burial of toxic waste that was discovered last year.

The Vietnamese media outlet, Vnexpress, reported that around 100 tons of industrial waste from it's steel subsidiary, which were buried at a local farmland, contained excessive levels of cyanide. Consequently, the company was fined VND450 million (US$25,000) for directly burying the waste.

The company's illegal burial of toxic waste was uncovered in July last year, after a year-long investigation.

In an interview with CNA, the CEO of Formosa Ha Tinh Steel, Chang Fu-ning (張復寧) said that the company had some problems with administration and hired the wrong contractors who failed to comply with legal waste burial. He also said the company would avoid making the same mistakes in the future.

The Taiwanese steel firm sparked numerous controversies in Vietnam last year for causing one of the biggest environmental disasters in Vietnamese history, polluting 200 kilometers (125 miles) of coastline in central of the country and later had to compensate US$500 million to the Vietnamese government.