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Vietnam to Punish 11 Environmental Officials Over Formosa Scandal

On Wednesday, the Vietnamese government released a list of 11 state and industry officials responsible for the Formosa environmental scandal which occurred in central Vietnam last year.

Eleven months after the incident, the Communist Party Inspection Commission released a statement on the government's website holding 11 officials and industry leaders responsible for last year’s marine disaster. According to VnExpress, this is the first time Vietnam has publicly called out officials involved in the scandal.

Earlier this year, a similar announcement also surfaced, in which Vietnamese authorities vowed to punish four officials from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Tuoi Tre reports, however the statement didn’t specify the officials' names.

This time, however, the government named former Environmental Minister Nguyen Minh Quang, former Vice Minister Bui Cach Tuyen and the former Chief of Ha Tinh Communist Party Unit Vo Kim Cu as well as eight others whose actions led to the environmental disaster, affecting the livelihood of Ha Tinh’s fishing communities and showing "a lack of responsibility in leadership, management and supervision", according to the commission. The statement also pledged to consider the severity of each individual's role in the scandal and hand out punishments accordingly, however it did not provide further details on what those punishments would be.

Last April, the mass death of 70 tons of marine life along the coast of central Vietnam made international headlines, raising environmental concerns over the operation of Hung Nghiep Formosa Ha Tinh Steel Company, a subsidiary of Taiwanese firm Formosa Plastics that was accused of dumping untreated wastewater into the sea where the fish kill occurred. Vietnamese officials later came forward to say no conclusive evidence had been found linking Formosa to the environmental disaster. However, after months of additional testing and research, officials confirmed Formosa's role in the scandal, and the company agreed to pay US$500 million in compensation to the affected residents.

[Photo via Maisondelinspir]

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[Video] Formosa Responsible for Central Vietnam Fish Kill

What We Know So Far About Central Vietnam's Fish Die-Off

Hanoi Tourism Union Proposes Controversial 'Formosa Tour' in Central Vietnam

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