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EPU joined forces to investigate the improper disposal of industrial wastes in Prachin Buri Province

On 6th April 2022, Mr. Athapol Charoenshunsa, Director General of Pollution Control Department (PCD), President of the Environmental Protection Unit (EPU), revealed that Mr. Pitaya Pramotvoraphan, Deputy Director General of Pollution Control Department, Director of EPU, visited the area of Lat Takhian Subdistrict, Kabin Buri District, Prachin Buri Province to investigate complaint case regarding the smuggling of industrial waste into this area. The Cooperating agencies consist of 4th Coordination Center (OC.4, ISOC), Natural Resources and Environmental Crime Suppression Division (NED), Special Suppression Task Force (Phayak Phrai), Royal Forest Department, Regional Environmental Office 7, Saraburi, Prachinburi Provincial Industry Office, Prachin Buri Provincial Office of Natural Resources and Environment, and Lattakhian Subdistrict Administrative Organization.

Mr. Athapol said that from inspecting Waste 2 Energy Company Limited, it was found that on 12th March 2022, wastewater was discharged outside the factory, which has 4 earthen ponds with 4-7 meter-depth and covered with plastic sheets. However, the company representative informed that it was the leachate from a factory no. 105. During the inspection on 5th April 2022, it was found that wastewater was brought back to the factory’s wastewater treatment system.

However, such actions may be considered as the following offenses.

1) Taking wastewater out of factory no. 105 violates Article 1.9 of factory license conditions. Therefore, PCD has been assigned to issue the letter to the Department of Industrial Works (DIW) and Prachin Buri Province to proceed in accordance with the authority.

2) An excavation of land for wastewater treatment plant construction without notifying the competent officials in accordance with the Land Excavation and Land Filling Act, B.E. 2543, is offense and Lattakhian Sub – district Administrative Organization is going to proceed this case by 8th April 2022.

3) Assigning the Royal Forest Department to inspect the land possession at the construction site of wastewater treatment pond outside the factory. Moreover, the Royal Forest Department will coordinate the Land Department to operate it within 15 days.

4) The area of the factory no. 105 is not match the title deed number according to the license. Therefore, PCD and DIW are assigned for further inspection.

5) The results of wastewater and waste samples analysis from PCD will be informed and delivered to DIW for further actions.

6) PCD will issue a letter to Waste 2 Energy Company Limited for requesting the documentary evidences of wastes imported and the properties of waste imported for a factory no. 106 operation.

7) This case may be considered as an expansion of the wastewater treatment system without permission from DIW which PCD will inform DIW for further inspection.

This inspection was carried out with the consent of the owner, occupiers, or representatives of the company, in which the officers have affixed signatures of auditors, co – investigators, and inspectors as the evidence, Mr. Athapol said.

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