Thai farmers to be told to stop burning farm waste or face legal action

All provincial governors in Thailand have been told to stop the burning of agricultural waste in their provinces. The burning is being blamed for the current air pollution in Bangkok and its suburbs, and in several northern and central provinces.

The accumulation of PM2.5 dust in the atmosphere, mainly caused by outdoor burning of waste, especially on farms, combined with poor air circulation, has been posing a health risk for the past several days, said Lt-Gen Kongcheep Tantravanich, a spokesman for Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan.

He said the poor air quality has prompted General Prawit to order all provincial governors to send teams to warn farmers to stop the burning or face prosecution.

Meanwhile, Natural Resources and Environment Minister Woravuth Silpa-archa has ordered officials of the Pollution Control Department to coordinate with those from the Interior Ministry and the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) to intensify efforts to reduce emissions of PM2.5 dust fromvehicles and factories.

PM Office Permanent Secretary Thirapat Prayoonsit said Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha wants officials to enforce the law against the air polluters strictly, including diesel-fueled trucks.

Thiraphat went to an air quality checkpoint near Rim Khlong Thawee Wattana station today, to observe officials performing their duty. It was discovered that the area was congested with traffic, which is blamed for the air pollution in the area.

The Pollution Control Department reported that all of Bangkok and its suburbs were found to have excessive amounts of PM2.5 dust in the atmosphere, ranging from 61-122 microns. The safety level is 50 microns.

 

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)