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Air Pollution

2015 plan dusted off as North suffers severe pollution levels

Jack Burton

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PHOTO: Students assemble dust detectors to be distributed at schools affected by PM2.5 air pollution - Somchai Poomlard, The Bangkok Post

All 77 of Thailand’s provinces have been told to adopt the 2015 disaster prevention and mitigation master plan to address the current PM2.5 air pollution crisis. The decision was approved by the cabinet this week after it was proposed by Interior Minister Anupong Paojinda. He says the 133 page plan contains guidelines for action on risk reduction, emergency response, international cooperation and restoration.

“The situation in individual regions varies, so governors are allowed to adjust the action plan to suit their local situations.”

The move comes after air pollution from seasonal fires set by farmers to clear their land rose to hazardous levels in four northern provinces this week. Levels of PM2.5 pollution exceeded the government’s threshold of 50 microgrammes per cubic metre (µg/m³) in Lampang, Nan, Phayao and Phrae provinces. Thailand’s “safe” level is twice that of the World Health Organisation, 25µg/m³.

The real-time PM2.5 level surged to over 400µg/m³ in parts of Phrae and Chiang Mai provinces on Monday, a level considered ‘hazardous’.

The Pollution Control Department also reported Tuesday’s PM2.5 levels were building again in greater Bangkok after a few days of respite, though they remained below the safe threshold at 16-41 µg/m³ as of Tuesday morning.

Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwon has ordered officials to “enforce stringent legal actions” against burning outdoor fires.

SOURCE: The Bangkok Post

2015 plan dusted off as North suffers severe pollution levels | News by Thaiger

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    Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

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