Lawsuit fights relaxed controls on waste-to-energy plants

About 100 people filed a lawsuit against the environment minister and the National Environmental Board on Thursday over a new regulation that frees waste-to-energy power plant projects of the need to prepare an environmental impact assessment (EIA).

The group represents the foundation named Ecological Alert and Recovery-Thailand (EARTH) and concerned people in seven provinces near Bangkok -- Chachoengsao, Chon Buri, Nakhon Nayok, Pathum Thani, Prachin Buri, Samut Prakan and Saraburi.

The lawsuit challenges a new regulation announced by Natural Resources and Environment Minister Dapong Ratanasuwan on Aug 19. It exempts thermal power plant projects to be fuelled by waste from the requirement to complete an EIA before implementation. The environmental board endorsed the new regulation.

The complainants said the exemption meant an end to an important mechanism to protect the environment and community health, and public participation in checking waste-to-energy power plant projects.

Waste-to-energy power plants had been subject to completion of an EIA for the previous three years.

Source URL: Bangkok Post