Government promises draft clean air law by end of the month

Government representatives at a meeting in Chiang Mai yesterday Nov. 10 told those in attendance that a new draft clean air law is expected to be ready for consideration by the end of this month.

The meeting, led by General Sakon Sajjanit, Deputy Chairman of the Senate at the Harmonize Hotel in Tha Sala listened to various presentations. Those speaking on smoke issues in the north at the meeting included Mrs. Wipawan Woraphuthipong, Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce of the Upper Northern Region and Mr. Ajarn Paisit Panichkun from the Faculty of Lawat Chiang Mai University.

The meeting heard that it was important that the private sector take the initiative to solve problems in conjunction with the government.

Exactly what’s in the current proposed draft of the new clean air law was not seemingly discussed but there was plenty of talk about its need to assist delivering clean air in the north.

Environmentalists have been calling for a new law for several years.

The Clean Air Network of Thailand presented a paper in May arguing that current laws don’t go far enough.

“The primary reasons the authorities’ efforts are unsuccessful are the lack of a holistic approach in taking such measures, unclear and inefficient environmental-law enforcement and the authorities’ bias by which economic development is given higher priority than environmental protection,” Dr Wirun Limsawart from the Clean Air Network was quoted as saying at the time.

“Unless we solve these structural issues, establish official smog-mitigation measures, improve law enforcement and come out with a Clean Air Act to use as a legal tool to safeguard the right to live in a healthy environment, we will fail to protect public health and Thailand will soon become a sickly society,” Limsawart added.

Photo: Chiang Mai News