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Thailand: Proposed law easing up factory regulations will cause health & environmental crisis

Author: Pratch Rujivanarom, The Nation, Published on: 24 February 2019

"Proposed law aims to boost investment at the cost of health and environment," 20 February 2019

THE POLLUTION crisis will only worsen if the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) pushes through the revised Factory Act, environmentalists warned....

...Penchom Saetang, director of Ecological Alert and Recovery Thailand (Earth), said...[a]llowing large-scale exemptions and watering down protection measures will create a severe health and environmental crisis....

...[S]he said...factories with fewer than 50 employees will no longer be required to register.

...Gunn Tattiyakul, Eastern Economic Corridor Watch coordinator, said as many as 60,539 or 43 per cent of total factories nationwide will no longer be considered factories under the new law.

"This means that almost half of the factories in this country will no longer be subject to environment and health-protection regulations, so we are going to face even greater threats from PM2.5 and other industrial pollution," Gunn cautioned.

...[F]actory licences will no longer have an expiration date...inspections...every five years for licence renewal will be suspended. Factory owners will also be able to easily expand their facilities without having to seek permission.

  • ...What will the Factory Act include?
  • A new legal definition of "factory" will change the status of nearly 43 per cent or over 60,000 factories across the nation, freeing them from any legal bindings.
  • A new legal definition of "factory construction" will make industrial investments easier.
  • Factory licences will have no expiration date after Articles 14 and 15 of the previous version of the law are dropped.
  • Factories can be easily expanded after Article 19/1 is amended.
  • Easing regulations on industrial pollution will put the well-being of locals at risk....

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