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.

Thailand's Industry ministry tightens its grip on factories

The movement came after news relating to improper disposal of industrial waste by factories surfaced and is increasingly harassing people living in their vicinities and also a threat to environment.

Under the tough measures to be implemented, factories are required to report the type and amount of waste created and name their waste disposal service provider, along with three main factory licencing procedures; the factory licence application, the issued licence and renewals of the licence.

Failure to conform to the rules faces factory closure or licence withdrawal.

Thailand's Praksa fire leads to calls for nationwide dumpsite controls

THE RECENT massive fire at a dumpsite in Samut Prakan's tambon Praksa has prompted senators to call for a Health Department survey of 2,400 garbage dumps and for the issuance of ministerial regulations to control dumping sites nationwide.

Sonthi Kotchawat, an adviser to the Upper House's environmental panel, said he was worried that 2,400 dumpsites across the country would be at risk from fires due to methane gas generated from garbage inside the sites.

In the past few weeks, at least six dumpsites have caught fire from unknown causes.

Killing of environmental activists rises globally

As head of his village, Prajob Naowa-opas battled to save his Chachoengsao province community from the illegal dumping of toxic waste by filing petitions and leading villagers to block trucks carrying the stuff - until a gunman in broad daylight fired four shots into him.

A year later, his three alleged killers, including a senior government official, are on trial for murder. The dumping has been halted and villagers are erecting a statue to their slain hero.

Thai garbage-dump fire prompts nationwide check of controls

ENVIRONMENTAL experts are testing samples from around the burned-out garbage dump at Samut Prakan's tambon Praksa for toxic substances in the soil, air and underground water, in order to find out where they came from.

At the same time, the recent massive fire at the garbage dump has prompted pollution-control agencies to revise their designation of pollution-control zones in 23 provinces nationwide.

PM urges waste laws revamp

Caretaker premier Yingluck Shinawatra has ordered a revamp of rubbish management and waste-related laws to better control dump sites and landfills across the the country.

"We need to better integrate the work of state agencies which are in charge of enforcing 12 laws relating to waste management. The Interior Ministry, provincial governors and local administrations should be the focal points in dealing with rubbish management," she said.

Thai landfill tenant faces legal actions

The minister who made an inspection trip to the landfill said that garbage from the communities and industrial wastes had been dumped in the landfill illegally although licence for garbage dumping had already been revoked after protests from people in nearby communities against the landfill.

Samples of industrial wastes collected from the site have been sent to a laboratory for tests to find out if any of them are toxic.

The tenant of the landfill will face a maximum imprisonment of two years and/or a fine of 200,000 baht if toxic wastes were dumped into the landfill.

Ships seized for dumping mud into Ha Long Bay

Quang Ninh authorities have intercepted two ships in the act of illegally discharging mud into Ha Long Bay.

About 300cu.m of the mud was alleged to have been dumped into the sea. Two men arrested admitted that they were hired by the Hai Phong-based Tan Viet Co Ltd to transport the mud from Cai Lan Port to the bay.

The two ships have been held in port at Ha Long City's Doan Wharf for further investigation.

The Ha Long Bay Management Board has sent a document asking Cai Lan Port to control dredging to prevent ships from releasing waste into the bay.

INTERPOL launches Project Eden to target illegal waste

INTERPOL’s Project Eden, targeting the illegal trade and disposal of waste, has been officially launched during the INTERPOL Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Events in Kenya.

Through Project Eden, INTERPOL aims to raise the profile of this transnational crime which in addition to threatening the quality of the global environment and posing a significant risk to human health, also undermines international conventions, undercuts legitimate treatment facilities and causes economic harm due to the loss of recoverable raw materials.