The central province of Quảng Ngãi has lifted its temporary suspension and decided to allow the dumping of dredged mud off the coast of Mỹ Khê Beach.
Local authorities say that a revised environmental impact assessment has been accepted by relevant central and local agencies including the Transport Ministry.
The Northern Việt Nam Maritime Safety Corporation (VMS North) will now be allowed to dump dredged mud in the seas off Tịnh Khê Commune, at an assigned location 7.5km off the coast of the famous Mỹ Khê beach.
Đặng Văn Minh, Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, announced the new decision at a press conference last week after a working session with VMS North.
Minh said the province had first agreed that the corporation would dredge an entrance to the Sa Kỳ Port and dump the dredged mud off the coast of Tịnh Khê Commune between October 2017 and March 2018.
However this plan was halted and the corporation asked to check its environment impact assessment on the dumping again before beginning to dredge the port passage.
Minh said the environment impact assessment has since been approved by the Transport Ministry, the National Maritime Administration, local departments of Natural Resource and Environment and other central and local agencies.
As planned, the VMS North Corporation will dredge a 250m long, 50m wide, 3.5m deep section off the coast of two communes, Bình Châu and Tịnh Kỳ.
According to the corporation, the dredging is a regular activity that will ease navigation in Sa Kỳ Port.
The dredging would excavate 62,000 cubic metres of mud and sand and dump it in an area 7km away from Sa Kỳ Port.
Deputy director of the provincial department of Natural Resources and Environment, Nguyễn Quốc Tân, told Việt Nam News that corporation has reported that the dredged, which has been tested, comprises 91.2 per cent sand, grit and gravel.
“The dumping of dredged mud of course raises anxiety and concerns among local people and agencies in the province as they are afraid of bad impacts on the environment. We were assigned as a consulting agency for the People’s Committee deciding the dumping plan,” Tân said.
“The dumping had been done as usual in previous years, but several poor environmental assessments in dumping cases in coastal areas in Việt Nam made people worried,” he said.
Former director of the provincial department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Nguyễn Đăng Vũ, had dramatically protested the dumping plan, saying it would damage a large coastal area in the site of a Global Geo-park that would seek UNESCO recognition.
The province has asked the corporation to report regularly on its dredging and dumping plan and ordered strict supervision of the environment around the dumping area, officials said.