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21 December 2009

Thailand monitors air quality around Map Ta Phut

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The Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (IEAT) in cooperation with industrial operators in the Map Ta Phut Industrial estate in the eastern province of Rayong sent mobile air inspection teams to measure air quality in the industrial estate area around the clock, reported state news agency TNA.

The mobile air quality inspection unit, consisting of 14 vehicles equipped with instruments to check the air quality in and around the Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate, said Veerapong Chaiperm, deputy IEAT governor.

Under the three-month pilot scheme, the mobile unit has reported daily on air quality since December 15 and nothing has been wrong so far.

It will also pave the way for the establishment of a permanent monitoring unit in a bid to create environmental management and safety for residents in the areas near the industrial estate, said Veerapong.

The Rayong governor also ordered representatives from local communities to participate in the surveillance project to build confidence among local residents while coexisting in local livelihood and development of the industrial sector.

The latest gas leak at Map Ta Phut occurred last Saturday when six workers were sent to hospital for treatment after accidentally inhaling gas leaking from a factory which was recently shut down for not following environmental regulations.

Several chemical leak incidents have taken place in Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate in recent weeks, especially after the Administrative Court temporarily suspended 76 industrial projects in September.

So far only 11 of the overall 76 projects were allowed to continue operation while 65 remain closed until a full court hearing takes place and resolves the matter.


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