The “Governmental Decree No.40/2019/ND-CP on amending and supplementing several provisions for the implementation of the ‘Law on Environmental Protection’” (hereinafter referred to “the decree”), which was enacted on May 13, 2019 in Vietnam, has a significant impact on business entities with production facilities in the country. This decree partially amends four existing Governmental Decrees, but, in this article, I would like to explain some important amendments in the “Governmental Decree No. 38/2015/ND-CP on waste and scrap management”.
The main points of the amendments are explained below.
Responsibilities of generators of general industrial solid waste
Chapter 4 (Article 29 to 35) of the Governmental Decree No. 38/2015/ND-CP provides for the management of “general industrial solid waste”, but some of them were significantly amended by the decree. The new responsibilities of “generators” include the following:
- To establish storage facilities or areas for general industrial solid waste that meet specific technical requirements
- To use a “delivery note” when delivering general industrial solid waste to carriers or disposers. The delivery note shall contain information about the sender and receiver, as well as information about the waste to be delivered (type and quantity).
- To prepare and submit an annual management report of general industrial solid waste. This report may be integrated into an annual management report of hazardous waste.
Installation of wastewater reservoirs
New paragraphs 4 to 8 added to the end of Article 37 (wastewater management) of Governmental Decree No. 38/2015/ND-CP. Among them, paragraph 6 requires some specific industries to install “reservoirs”. The industries subject to this regulation are “manufacturing projects that may cause environmental pollution” as defined in Annex IIa of Section I of the decree’s Annex, with a total of 17 industries including electrical and electronic equipment, paper and pulp, batteries, and chemicals.
The additional regulation on wastewater is said to have been triggered by the serious environmental pollution incident caused by Formosa’s steel plant in central Vietnam in 2016, but there were many oppositions from various industries even at the time of the drafting of the decree due to the heavy burden on companies.
Monitoring of industrial exhaust gas
Article 47 (Monitoring of industrial exhaust gas) of the Governmental Decree No. 38/2015/ND-CP has been fully amended, and therefore many requirements are newly added. For example, the installation of automatic continuous monitoring equipment for exhaust gases become mandatory for some facilities specified in Annex III of Section I of the decree’s Annex, with 11 industries in total, including glass, steel, cement and thermal power plants. Its data shall be transmitted to the local officials for natural resources and environmental affairs.
The original text of this decision is available for download below: