Garment factory fined after pollution claims

Source: Phnom Penh Post

A local waterway that residents say was polluted by untreated runoff from a garment factory in Takeo’s Bati district. Daphne Chen

The Ministry of Environment has fined a Chinese garment factory in Takeo province $7,500 after villagers complained the factory was polluting nearby streams with untreated waste.

Klaing Sambath Village Chief Ouch Monh said sewage from Wintai Sock Manufacture Ltd, in Bati district’s Putsar commune, had been flowing into local streams since last year and was particularly bad during heavy rains.
“The water smells very bad, and when the water hit the grass, it killed the grass,” Monh said.

A letter from the Ministry of Environment announcing the fine was dated October 2 and signed by Minister Say Sam Al, though it does not appear to have been made public until it was circulated by local media this week. The letter does not describe the reason for the fine against Wintai.

However, a Wintai manager, who declined to give his name, confirmed yesterday that the fine was due to waste that the factory spilled into a nearby stream. According to the manager, the factory paid the fine shortly after it received the letter and has since built a new wastewater treatment facility.

“This is old news,” the manager said, adding that the company was inspected by provincial environmental authorities last week. “This was resolved a long time ago.”

Village Chief Monh yesterday noted that the sewage spillage appeared to have improved lately, but attributed it to lack of heavy rain.

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