by Apra Law

Environmental pollution has been a big challenge not only for Vietnam but also for the whole world. One of the important causes leading to this situation is hazardous wastes generated during the conduct of human development activities. According to the National State of Environment Report for the period 2016-2020 of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, the amount of hazardous waste in Vietnam is increasing worryingly. Specifically, according to local reports, the amount of hazardous waste generated from industry in 2019 was about 1,133,077 tons (an increase of 258,688 tons compared to 2018), mainly concentrated in light industries, metallurgy and chemicals. In addition, a source of hazardous waste generation is from violations of the law in importing scrap as raw production materials. Some organizations and individuals, taking advantage of the import of scrap, have put hazardous waste mainly metal and plastic scraps, waste rubber tires and tubes, car shells, ships that have not been cleaned of impurities, and lead batteries. waste, used electronic products (computer monitors, electronic circuit boards, etc.) to Vietnam [p.42]. In rural areas, hazardous wastes are generated mainly from agricultural production activities (bottles containing plant protection chemicals); veterinary care activities, injection equipment, surgery). According to the report on environmental protection of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in 2019, 438,032 kg of packages and bottles of plant protection chemicals after use were braised, of which 346,013 kg were destroyed. . The amount of pesticide remaining on the shell, bottle or chemical package accounts for 1.85% of the weight of the package [p.42]. In addition, the total amount of hazardous medical solid waste generated nationwide is about 24 thousand tons per year (Data 2020 of the Ministry of Health), a very significant number.

Recognizing the importance of hazardous waste management, the legal system on environmental protection has made new developments, first demonstrated by the approval of the 13th National Assembly, 7th session. passed the Law on Environmental Protection 2014, which took effect from January 1, 2015 and most recently the Law on Environmental Protection 2020, which took effect from January 1, 2022. With the goal of sustainable environmental development, the Law on Environmental Protection in 2014 and 2020 mentioned hot issues being raised in environmental protection today such as: The issue of responding to climate change ; promoting green growth; formulation of environmental planning; supplement regulations on state management of environmental protection; concretize responsibilities and rights of socio-political organizations, socio-professional organizations and residential communities in environmental protection

Immediately after the 2014 Law on Environmental Protection was passed, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment coordinated with relevant agencies and units to develop and submit to the Government and the Prime Minister for promulgation legal documents. guiding the implementation and promptly serving the state management of environmental protection. In which, the following documents must be mentioned: Decree No. 114/2014/ND-CP dated November 26, 2014 of the Government stipulating the subjects and conditions allowed to import and dismantle used ships use; Decree No. 127/2014/ND-CP dated December 31, 2014 of the Government stipulating conditions for organizations conducting environmental monitoring activities; Decree No. 03/2015/ND-CP dated January 6, 2015 of the Government providing for the determination of damage to the environment; Decree No. 18/2015/ND-CP dated February 14, 2015 of the Government on regulations on environmental protection planning, strategic environmental assessment, environmental impact assessment and environmental protection plan; Decree No. 19/2015/ND-CP dated February 14, 2015 of the Government detailing the implementation of a number of articles of the Law on Environmental Protection; Decree No. 38/2015/ND-CP dated April 24, 2015 of the Government regulating waste and scrap management; Decree No. 60/2016/ND-CP dated July 1, 2016 of the Government stipulating a number of business investment conditions in the field of environmental protection

In addition, the ministries have also issued regulations guiding the implementation of such contents as: Appraisal of environmental impact assessment reports, establishment of environmental protection plans, environmental protection schemes, management of environmental impacts. hazardous waste, deposit for environmental restoration in mineral exploitation, import of scrap as production materials, environmental protection in economic zones, industrial parks, etc. Besides, the system of standards and regulations National technical standards on environment are also reviewed, revised and promulgated to meet the requirements of practice.

In the localities, many directing documents, guidelines, programs and plans have also been developed and implemented, such as regulations on environmental protection in the province and city; annual and 5-year environmental protection plans; planning the environmental monitoring network in the province, city, etc. Most of the localities have issued documents concreting the policies, strategies, plans and implementation organization in the locality in order to be proactive. respond to climate change, strengthen resource management and protect the environment.

Over the years, on hazardous waste management in Vietnam, our State has gradually perfected the system of legal documents on hazardous waste management, from legal regulations to legal documents. under the law such as: Law on Environmental Protection 2014 separates Section 2 Chapter IX on hazardous waste management; Decree No. 38/2015/ND-CP dated April 24, 2015 of the Government providing separate Chapter II on hazardous waste management; Regulation on hazardous waste management (issued together with the Prime Minister’s Decision No. 115/1999/QD-TTg); Decision No. 16/2015/QD-TTg dated May 22, 2015 of the Prime Minister on recall and treatment of discarded products (replacing Decision No. 50/2013/QD-TTg); Circular No. 36/2015/TT-BTNMT dated June 30, 2015 of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment regulating hazardous waste management… In addition, Vietnam has also joined a number of international conventions on hazardous waste management such as: Marpol Convention (signed by Vietnam on August 29, 1991); Basel Convention (ratified by Vietnam on May 13, 1995),…

The legal content on hazardous waste management includes specific regulations from the collection, storage, transportation to the treatment and destruction of hazardous waste. At the same time, it also clearly stipulates the responsibilities of entities related to hazardous waste, from state management agencies to organizations and individuals. Specifically:

– Hazardous waste generators must compile dossiers on hazardous wastes and register them with provincial-level state management agencies in charge of environmental protection. If organizations and individuals fully meet the conditions for hazardous waste management capacity, they will be granted permits and codes for hazardous waste management activities by competent state management agencies in charge of environmental protection. (Article 90 of the Law on Environmental Protection 2014).

– The classification, collection, storage and treatment meet environmental technical regulations in two ways: The hazardous waste generator must organize the classification, collection or contract transfer to the receiving party for management. hazardous waste collection. Hazardous wastes must be stored in specialized means and equipment to ensure that they do not adversely affect humans and the environment (Article 91 of the Law on Environmental Protection 2014).

– The hazardous waste treatment must be carried out by suitable specialized means and equipment and recorded in the hazardous waste treatment license. Hazardous waste transported to other countries must comply with international treaties to which the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a contracting party (Article 92 of the Law on Environmental Protection 2014).

The Law on Environmental Protection 2020 continues to inherit the provisions of the Law on Environmental Protection 2014 on issues related to management, treatment, and responsibilities of individuals and organizations in hazardous waste management. However, due to the short effective time, the system of sub-law documents is still limited and has not been concretized, and needs to be further improved and developed in the future.


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