Pesticides blamed for sickening 31 in Battambang

Water contaminated by pesticides has been blamed for poisoning 31 people in Battambang’s Samlot district.

The victims, aged from 6 months to 40 years, were taken to Ka Sang health centre suffering vomiting, fever and headaches after using water from a stream and pond in Prey Thhom village on Thursday. All were expected to recover.

Provincial health service deputy director Ouk Vithiear said pesticides probably seeped into the water from the surrounding farmland.

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.

Villagers fear Chinese firm will reopen “polluting” power plant

Villagers from Tikyit in Pinlaung are concerned that a Chinese company will resume operations at a coal-fired power plant in the village, sources say.

A villager, Sai Than Win, said: “We heard that a Chinese company won the tender to run the coal-fired power plant which has not operated since September. We want the government to stop it permanently. When the plant was operating, we smelt saltpetre all the time. It can damage our health. The drinking water became contaminated. When the plant stopped operating, so did the foul smell.”

Top lawyer condemns delays in Klity Creek clean-up

A top human rights lawyer has criticised the Pollution Control Department (PCD) for lengthy delays in the clean-up of Kanchanaburi’s lead-contaminated Klity Creek.

Speaking after a meeting with the PCD, Lawyers Council of Thailand representative Surapong Kongchantuk said the department must speed up restoration of the creek.

The PCD called a meeting of its Klity Creek working committee on Friday, the first since the Supreme Administration Court ordered the department in January last year to restore the creek.

HCM City to close part of multi-million dollar waste treatment plant

The installation of waste treatment facilities for landfill No. 3 of Phuoc Hiep complex is nearly completed and the landfill has been operating for eight months, but the HCM City government still wants to close it to prevent pollution after local residents lodged many complaints about the landfill.

Locals said that after rains, the awful smell from the landfill covers an area within a radius of 2-3km. Not only air, the water resources also are seriously polluted, and all local canals have turned black.

Loei villagers sue to stop mining

A group of Loei villagers and environmental activists have petitioned the Central Administrative Court to revoke concessions issued to three iron mining companies in Chiang Khan district, claiming the process of issuing permits to the firms was illegal.

The group named the Industry Ministry's Industries and Mines Department, the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry's Royal Forest Department, the Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning, and the local administrative agencies as defendants in a lawsuit filed with the court yesterday.

65 ill after Phayao toxic blast

Experts are testing for air and water pollution in Phayaois Ban Nam Waen where villagers have fallen sick after an agricultural chemical storehouse exploded.

Chiang Kham hospital carried out health checks on up to 65 residents after locals started vomiting as a result of breathing strong, unpleasant fumes from the burned-out storehouse, deputy Phayao governor Nimit Wanchaithanawong said yesterday.

The Environment And Safety

In D.I. Khan, ten people lost their lives after falling into a chemical drain yesterday. This chemical drain carried waste from the Chashma Sugar Mills and ends in the Indus River. Two things must be considered when addressing this incident: safety and accountability, for human life and the environment.