Enforcement and Compliance News

  • The EPA’s Pollution Estimates Stink. Everyone Uses Them Anyway I

    Feb 6 2018

    Engineer Jim Southerland was hired by the US Environmental Protection Agency in 1971 to join the nascent war on air pollution. He came to relish the task, investigating orange clouds from an ammunition plant in Tennessee and taking air samples from strip mines in Wyoming. Among his proudest accomplishments: helping the agency develop a set of numbers called emission factors—values that enable regulators to estimate atmospheric discharges from power plants, oil refineries, chemical plants and other industrial operations.

    By the time Southerland left the EPA in 1996, he was “frustrated and ticked off,” he says, because the numbers he had helped develop were being misused. The...

  • Robotic eel tracks down pollution in lakes

    Jul 27 2017

    Researchers at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) have developed a robotic eel that can efficiently scan a source of water for pollution and wirelessly deliver the data it gathers in real time. The robotic eel mimics its namesake by swimming through the water with a similar locomotion to find and follow signs of pollution.

    Water quality samples are typically taken by hand on a regular schedule, but the process is slow and only represents the quality of the water at the spots where it was sampled. The a team of robotic eels could more regularly take measurements and cover the expanse of a body of water.

    “There are many advantages to using swimming robots. They...

  • Specialist 'environmental court' gets NRSA backing

    Jul 20 2017

    The National Reform Steering Assembly (NRSA) has endorsed a plan to create an environmental court overseeing cases involving pollution and its impact on the public.

    The NRSA on Tuesday voted 90 to 1 with 10 abstentions in favour of approving a report proposed by a national reform committee on law and justice. The meeting, held at parliament, was chaired by the assembly's vice-chairman, Alongkorn Ponlaboot. The report will soon be forwarded to the Justice Ministry, the National Legislative Assembly and the cabinet for consideration.

    Sayumporn Limthai, a member of the reform committee and former member of the now-defunct National Reform Council, said the court, which will...

  • Police probe dump over outflow fears

    Jun 28 2017

    Rayong: The Rayong industrial officer has filed a complaint with the police, asking that it investigate a deserted industrial waste site close to Dok Krai Reservoir in Pluak Daeng district.

    It is suspected that 200,000 tonnes of toxic waste which went missing last year might be buried there.

    The authorities were compelled to act after polluted water was discovered at the industrial waste site, which may put the reservoir at risk of contamination.

    The site was also emanating an unpleasant smell caused by hydrogen sulphide.

    After investigating the site, the officers suspected that 200,000 tonnes of toxic waste which reportedly went missing from a waste...

  • China's new environment minister urges 'protracted war' on pollution

    Jun 27 2017

    BEIJING (Reuters) - China on Tuesday appointed a new environment minister who has promised a "protracted battle" to clean up the nation's notoriously polluted air, water and soil.

    Xinhua news agency named the minister as Li Ganjie, 52, who takes up the job less than a month after he was named the new party chief of the Ministry of Environmental Protection.

    On his first day in that job, he told staff to take environmental protection to "a new level" and wage a "protracted battle" against pollution. He takes over the job from Chen Jining, who was appointed acting mayor of Beijing last month.

    A former masters student in nuclear reactor engineering at Tsinghua University...

  • Fridges dumped in canals, Chiang Mai swamped

    Jun 16 2017

    Deputy Mayor Chatree Chuamanocharn on Friday acknowledged the survey of municipal waterways conducted by Nakhon Chiang Mai Municipality officials implementing the “Ying Thing, Ying Tuam” campaign – whose name translates roughly as “The more garbage disposed of in the wrong places, the worse the flooding”.

    Chatree said the situation was particularly bad along the Mae Kha Canal in the Fa Mai neighbourhood, the exit point for water draining out of the urban area. Garbage collected there in a bottleneck, he said, impeding drainage.

    He said municipality workers had recently pulled discarded mattresses, large tree branches and even a refrigerator and washing machine from the...

  • Waste disposal fees to triple

    Jun 14 2017

    The household garbage management rate will be tripled nationwide, to replace the current unrealistic rate that does not cover the actual waste management cost, the Ministry of Interior says.

    The new rate for households will be a minimum of 60 baht per month, up from 20 baht.

    Dhana Yantrakovit, deputy chief of the Department of Local Administration (DLA), said the new garbage management fee will be introduced immediately after ministerial regulations related to waste management are announced.

    He was speaking at a seminar entitled "Waste and Hazardous Waste Management at the Local Level", organised by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.


  • Nearly 14,000 Companies in China Violate Pollution Rules

    Jun 13 2017

    Environmental inspectors in northern China have found that nearly 14,000 companies, or 70 percent of the businesses they examined, failed to meet environmental standards for controlling air pollution, according to a state news agency report.

    The inspectors working for the Ministry of Environmental Protection came up with those results after two months of work across 28 cities in northern China, said Xinhua, the state news agency. The companies and industries varied widely, including businesses such as wool processing and furniture production.

    More than 4,700 companies were in unauthorized locations, lacked the proper certificates and failed to meet emissions standards, said...

  • Govt failing on environment, efforts to curb pollution: report

    Jun 6 2017

    On World Environmental Day yesterday, EARTH released a report on pollution in Thailand in 2015 and 2016, exposing serious problems at the Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate in Rayong, unresolved issues at gold mines in Phichit and Loei, and ongoing environmental conflicts related to waste management and coal-fired power plant projects.

    Atthapon Rittichart, a technical officer with EARTH, said people around the Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate were suffering from high amounts of toxic substances in the environment, with many pollution-monitoring stations detecting high amounts of volatile organic compounds beyond safe levels, leading to extraordinarily high rates of cancer.


  • Chinese inspectors find widespread violations of environment rules

    May 30 2017

    BEIJING, May 30 (Xinhua) -- The latest round of air pollution inspections in China have uncovered many violations of environmental rules among companies.

    Some 23 inspection teams examined 319 businesses on Sunday and discovered that 251 companies, or 79 percent of the total, violated environmental standards in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and other nearby areas.

    Excessive emissions, insufficient pollution-control equipment or failure to install pollution-control equipment were among the most common problems for the inspected businesses, the Ministry of Environmental Protection said Monday in a statement.

    The ministry has asked local authorities to shut down...