The 2005 law on environmental protection requires adjustments to activities relating to environment. The Government passes the national environmental standards and adjusts it every 5 years or sooner. The national environmental standards include standards on quality of surrounding environments and standards of wastes applied to all individuals or enterprises.
For the national or provincial socio economic development strategies, an assessment on environmental impacts must be done.
All the national important projects such as projects which utilize part of areas or lands of or negatively impact the natural preservation areas, national parks, cultural and historical trace areas, natural heritages, ranked landscapes etc; projects of building basic infrastructure for industrial, economic zones, processing zones or clusters of craft villages; projects of building new housing and office centres; projects of exploring or utilizing water underground and natural resources at large scale; projects which potentially harm environment, must do an assessment on environmental impacts. These projects are only granted an approval or an investment certificate after the assessment reports on environmental impacts are approved.
An assessment report on environmental impacts includes the following fundamental contents:
1) List and describe in details project’s work attached including a description of space, time and volume of work; technology for operation of individual work and of the whole project.
2) Generally assess environmental situations and surrounding areas where the project is located; sensitivity and pressure on environment.
3) Assess in details possible environmental impacts, environmental factors, socio-economic factors influenced by the project, risk assessment on potential environmental destroy caused by the project if the project is implemented.
4) List specific measures to minimize negative impact on environment, prevention and response to environmental problems
5) Commitment to apply measures for protecting environments during construction and operation of work
6) Provide a list of activities, management work or monitoring work relating to environmental issues during the project implementation process.
7) Estimate budget for building work which protect environment in the total budget estimation of the project
8) Collect ideas from commune people committee (ward, town) (herewith called as commune people committee), representative from communities where the project is implemented; all resistant ideas against the location of the project or against measures for environmental protection must be included in the assessment report on the environmental impacts.
9) Indicate sources for data, information and assessment methodology in the report.
Businesses, enterprises, family scale services and any individuals or organizations which do not have to be assessed in the report on strategic environmental issues and environmental impacts must be committed to the environmental protection.
Any enterprises, businesses or services which cause environmental pollution are obligated to pay fine and required to take measures for reducing and processing wastes following the environmental standards. These enterprises or businesses are also required to stop their activities until necessary measures for environmental protection are practiced. In cases of any harmful results to people, people’s health, properties and legal benefits of organizations and individuals resulted from the environmental pollution, they are obligated to compensate or brought to courts. Businesses, enterprises or services which cause serious environmental pollutions will be obligated to carry out additional measures apart from the above mentioned measures. For instance, these businesses are required to carry out measures for solving environmental pollution and for environmental restoration; they can also be required to change locations of project away from community areas following regulation on the environmental suffering level or they are required to stop their work.
Organizations, households, self-production units, enterprises of some products which in long term harm the environment and people’s health must pay environmental taxation.
Organizations or individuals throwing wastes or undertake any activities which negatively influence the environments must pay environmental protection fees. The fees vary accordingly to different activities and targets, for instance environmental protection fees applied to the exploration of natural resources such as crude oil is 100,000dong/ton, natural air is 200 dong/m3, ashlar facing stones or stones for artistic work (e.g. granite, gabbros, marbles etc) is 50,000dong/m3, stones for regular construction work is 1,000 dong/m3, gold sand is 3,000 dong/m3 etc. The environmental protection fees applied to waste water (sewage) are varied accordingly to substances which cause environmental pollution, environmental access and types of work or products.
Organizations and individuals who explore natural resources must sign for funds of environmental improvement and restoration as regulated specifically in the Law on environmental protection.