Industry official gets death sentence

The Chachoengsao court has handed down the death sentence against a C-8 Industry Ministry official for ordering the 2013 killing of a phuyaiban (village chief) who was leading protests against toxic waste dumping.

Prachob Naowa-opas, former chief of a Moo 14 village in Nong Han subdistrict of Phanom Sarakham district, was shot dead at a garage in the district last year.

He was the leader of the protests against illegal dumping of industrial and toxic waste in Nong Han and other tambons nearby.

Court in China issues record pollution fine

The Xinhua news agency said the fine was the highest ever in China as a result of public interest litigation against polluters.

The companies were found guilty in August of discharging 25,000 tonnes of chemical waste into two Taizhou rivers.

China's rapid economic growth has caused widespread environmental damage.

The country is facing international pressure to clean up its environment and an increasing number of local protests concerning pollution.

The government says that around 70% of China's lakes and rivers are polluted.

Court order on Klity Creek 'ignored'

The Pollution Control Department (PCD) has violated a court order for it to lay down a rehabilitation plan quickly for the lead-contaminated Klity Creek, the director of the Karen Studies and Development Centre told a seminar yesterday.

"The order requiring the PCD to produce a rehabilitation plan in 90 days was issued by the Supreme Administrative Court in early 2013," Surapong Kongchantuk said. "But so far, I have not seen any clear plans from the PCD."

The department, however, firmly denies this allegation.

Bt21 billion to be sought for Klong Dan

Some 14 politicians and civil servants - former and current - will be required to pay more than Bt21 billion in total compensation to the state over losses caused by the Klong Dan wastewater treatment plant, according to a Finance Ministry plan.

The former politicians include Vatana Asavahame, a former deputy interior minister, and the late former minister of science, technology and environment Yingpan Manasikarn.

Vatana is now on the run.

SHC issues notices to ministry, DHA

Sindh High Court (SHC) on Tuesday issued notices to Federal Ministry of Environment, Defence Housing Authority (DHA) chief secretary and others on appeal filed by Karachi Metropolitan Corporation against stay order regarding construction work on a flyover and two underpasses in Clifton area.

KMC challenged the SHC’s single bench stay order against construction work of underpass and flyover project in Clifton area, being financed and executed by a private builder and developer to facilitate visitors of its multistory project.

Centre gets 10 days to set up environment super regulator

The Supreme Court has given 10 days to the Centre to set up a national regulator that would take up comprehensive and independent environmental impact assessment (EIA) of projects, enforce conditions for approvals and impose penalties on polluters.

Given the lack of transparency and allegations of corruption in grant of green nod to projects, which either drag for years or get it at lightning speed, the green bench headed by Justice A K Patnaik had on January 6 accused the government of sleeping over the court's 2011 direction for setting up of a national environmental regulator.

Court hits hard at city bus agency

The Supreme Administrative Court on Thursday upheld a lower court ruling that found the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA) guilty of dereliction of duty relating to its handling of black smoke-belching buses.

The court also found that the Pollution Control Department (PCD) had ignored its duties in enforcing pollution-control laws on the BMTA and had failed to monitor the agency even though the Central Administrative Court had ordered it to improve bus services and ensure they met requirements under the environmental protection law.

Thai court orders Egat to clean up Mae Moh

The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) should pay compensation to local people suffering from air pollution from the Mae Moh coal-fired power plant in Lampang province, said a Supreme Administrative court judge.

The Egat should also come up with plans to rehabilitate the environment in areas affected by the power plant, Judge Sumeth Deuisres who is in charge of the Mae Moh pollution case, said yesterday.

He was giving his opinion at the end of the case's hearing, which was filed by a group of Mae Moh villagers affected by pollution from the power plant.