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About 8000 Vietnamese Sue FPG For Harm Caused By Ha Tinh Steel Mill Pollution

Steel News - Published on Wed, 12 Jun 2019

Image Source: Focus Taiwan
Focus Taiwan reported that about 8,000 residents in Vietnam filed a lawsuit in Taipei to seek compensation from the Formosa Plastics Group for harm resulting from pollution caused by the group's steel mill located in Ha Tinh in 2016. Several civic groups in Taiwan, including the Environmental Rights Foundation, represented the 7,875 Vietnamese pollution victims to file the lawsuit with the Taiwan Taipei District Court against FPG. The victims are seeking about NTD 140 million (USD 4.46 million) in compensation from the polluting steel complex. ERF and other civil groups said that FPG had not negotiated with the pollution victims about the compensation. They added “Although FPG claimed it had paid the damages, some of the pollution victims only obtained a meager NTD 20,000 (USD 637) each and many of the other victims had been unable to work at all due to the pollution, so they decided to sue the enterprises in Taipei.”

In April 2016, FPG's steel complex in Ha Tinh Province of central Vietnam was found to be discharging pollutants that killed fish along a 210-kilometer stretch of coast in the country. FPG has admitted responsibility for the pollution, which is described as the most serious environmental incident Vietnam has faced in a decade. According to one estimate, the pollution has caused more than 40,000 Vietnamese fishermen to lose their jobs or put them on the verge of being pushed out of the job market, while an additional 176,000 people have been indirectly affected. After an investigation launched by the Vietnamese authorities, the steel mill was required by the Vietnamese government to pay USD 500 million in damages for the pollution, payout of which was completed in August 2016.

In response to the lawsuit, Mr Chang Fu-ning, president of the steel maker, said the compensation payout has been completed based on instructions from the Vietnamese government, which was responsible for distributing the money. M Chang said that after the pollution accident, the steel mill has improved its waste treatment and discharge system with 24-hour monitoring and that the waste disposal is up to government requirements.

FPG is the majority shareholder of the steel mill Formosa Ha Tinh Steel Corp, other shareholders include Taiwanese China Steel Corp and Japan's JFE Steel Corp as well as board members of the steel mill.

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Posted By : Ratan Singh on Wed, 12 Jun 2019
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