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Bangkok authorities look to tackle air pollution

Tara Abhasakun

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After unsafe levels of smog and smoke blanketed Bangkok last month, the city’s authorities are now looking to tackle Bangkok’s notorious air pollution. The deputy permanent secretary of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration has said that this year, the BMA aims to work with other government agencies to deal with the air problem. He said that the BMA’s pollution control operations will now be based on new safety standards.

These standards will apply to oil fuel and car exhaust, among other things. The deputy permanent secretary, Chatree Wattanakhajorn, said that over the long term, oil fuel with only up to 10 parts per million will be designated for use in Bangkok and nearby provinces from 2024. The BMA has also now set a goal of making the PM2.5 safety standard 37.5 grammes per cubic metre, instead of 50 grammes per cubic metre. Chatree said that the BMA will enforce Euro 6 exhaust standards on cars this year.

Even though air pollution has reached dangerous levels across Thailand in recent months, as it does every year, a National Environment Board meeting has reported that the PM2.5 pollution situation in Bangkok and 17 Northern provinces has improved over the past year. The meeting reported that hotspots in the country’s north dropped by 69%. In March, Thailand’s Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency said there were 1,060 hot spots across Thailand.

110 of the hotspots were in Chiang Mai province, and 92 were in Lampang province. The air quality in the North and Northeast was mostly due to farmers burning waste, and villagers lighting fires in forests. The meteorological department said that in those regions, smoke and haze accumulate “due to weak air flow and lack of rainfall at this time of the year”.

The president of the National Environment Board said the cabinet has listed pollution control measures as a government priority from 2019-2024. For more info on Bangkok’s air pollution, check out the video below.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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    A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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