Deputy Director Nguyen Thi Thanh My first informed that Decree No.45 keeps any content still suitable and practical for the reality now as to adopting legal policies on environment protection. Its new points lie in
_a list of violations of environmental legal procedures, revised in accordance with new regulations of the Environment Protection Law 2020;
_the methods to forcefully return illegal profits;
_instruction on identifying discharge volume and sanctions for any samples exceeding the regulated limits;
_detailed regulation on the effective time to punish violation activities;
_clearer regulation on subjects to be punished for failing to classify domestic solid waste at source, or to classify and manage regular industrial solid waste;
_adjustments on purposes for not classifying domestic solid waste and not obeying public sanitation rules;
_authority giving to districts and the Management Board of Industrial and Export Processing Zones in HCMC (HEPZA) to force operation suspension and law enforcement.
She also mentioned certain content that needs more specific guidance from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, such as measures to deal with many violations in one case, some of which are not within the power of the investigation unit; ways for forceful operation suspension and remedies for negative impacts of violations.
Commenting the new form of punishing violation activities like littering the environment recorded by camera systems in Decree No.45, the Deputy Director said that the identification of violations on public sanitation rules has been the weakness of Decree No.155 in 2016. With this new Decree, HCMC is able to timely discover and fine law breakers. The city has already delivered corresponding instruction on how to use extracts from camera systems for indirect sanctions. At present, violators receive warnings either directly or via meetings in their neighborhoods, and will be punished if this action continues to happen.
To stop people from littering the environment, it is necessary to form cooperation between the local authorities, environment officials of the state, social organizations, neighborhood members, and local police officers. Otherwise, even monitoring camera systems cannot improve the situation. The city has also approved the local urban order management force and construction inspection team to punish administrative violations on public sanitation rules.
Discussing the strictness of a sanction of up to VND 1 million (US$43) for those failing to classify their domestic solid waste at source, Deputy Director My said that this task is detailed, along with the specific time to carry out, in the Environment Protection Law 2020. HCMC is developing a suitable road map for the implementation.
The piloting time in the city has revealed that the most important factor for the success of this waste classification is the cooperation of city dwellers, sufficient technical infrastructure (waste collection devices, containers, frequency of waste gathering and transportation to transfer points and processing plants) , modern waste treatment technologies to handle that waste after being classified (transforming into compost fertilizer or energy).
At present, it is essential to accelerate the propaganda of benefits of this waste classification to the public so that they actively and voluntarily participate in the task, gradually forming this new useful habit. Only after this propaganda and an upgrade of necessary technical infrastructure for this task can the municipal authorities consider sanctions.
Finally, the Deputy Director informed the current status of preparation for the implementation of Decree No.45 from August 25, 2022. Right after the release of Decree No.45, the HCMC Department of Natural Resources and Environment sent Dispatch No.5572/STNMT -TTr regarding this matter to the People’s Committees of all districts and Thu Duc City, HEPZA, the Management Board of Saigon Hi-tech Park, and the HCMC Department of Public Security.
By the effective day of Decree No.45, related units in HCMC will have prepared sufficient facilities and human resources for the synchronous implementation in the whole city. During the adoption of this Decree, any trouble arisen will be dealt with by the HCMC Department of Natural Resources and Environment or sent to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment for more instruction if the matter is out of its power.