Source: The Myanmar Times

Date: 1 February, 2018 


The Mandalay regional government will penalise manufacturers that fail to draft and implement environment management plans (EMP) within a year, officials said.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Conservation on January 10 issued notices to factories and mills in nine industries requiring them to draft EMPs, including waste treatment facilities, and submit them to the ministry for approval.

Among the nine industries that have been notified are alcohol and beer distilleries that have production capacities of 50,000 litres per day, clothes and dyeing mills with at least 1 tonne daily production, leather factories, paper and pulp mills with more than 20 tonnes daily production, sugar mills with at least 50 tonnes daily production, food and beverage factories with at least 10 tonnes daily production, pesticide mills, cement mills with at least 10 tonnes hourly production, limestone businesses with at least 20 tonnes daily production, and metal casting mills.

The environment ministry gave these industries between nine and 12 months to comply with the requirements. 

"Starting from January 9, 2019, action will be taken," Mandalay Region Environment Conservation Department Director U Tin Min Maung said at an event at Mandalay Industrial Zone on Monday.

"To draft EMP by themselves will be difficult for factories. It needs to be drafted by experts, for which they can contact our department. To reduce costs, similar work can be grouped. If not completed within nine or 12 months, a warning will be issued, followed by action," he said.

"The last thing we want is them shutting down. At that stage, it will also affect the workers. So, I hope they cooperate with the department in drafting the EMP," he added.

According to the Mandalay environment statistics, there are over 3300 businesses in these nine industries, including 20 alcohol, wine and beer distilleries, 2700 food and beverage producers, 50 cement and limestone businesses, 65 leather factories and 360 metal melting and casting mills.

"Alcohol distilleries in Mandalay Industrial Zone have started constructing water treatment factories," said U Thant Zin Tun, assistant director of the Mandalay Region Environmental Conservation Department.

"Shwe Myin Pyan distillery has conformed to prescribed BOD (biochemical oxygen demand) value," he said. "Other distilleries are still working and they will soon finish."

U Thant Zin Tun said that at present almost all mills and factories do not conform to the guidelines.

"We used to check cement mills every three months. But starting in November, we checked them every month," he said. "As a result, their (wastewater disposal) has entered into the accepted range. In my opinion, when there are regulators, the cases of exceeding the limit decrease."

Mandalay Chief Minister Zaw Myint Maung said most of the wastewater from the factories and mills in the region is dumped into the Dotehtawady River, which has become polluted.

"We receive complaints about wastewater disposal. I want to make a smart, green and clean city. We need the cooperation of the businessmen," he said.

Projects for systematic development should be drafted. If one doesn't obey the regulations, we have to consider other options," he added. "Fish die in Taung Thaman Lake due to industrial wastewater pollution. Businesses should consider how industry impacts the environment."

The chief minister said businessmen and women should not take for granted that the environment will be saved for future generations.