State, Time and Regional Experiences
Edited by Tadayoshi Terao and Tsuruyo Funatsu
Chapter 5: The Map Ta Phut pollution dispute in Thailand: a turning point toward more comprehensive pollution control
The Map Ta Phut Air Pollution Lawsuit in 2009 was the first case in Thailand in which environmental concerns took precedence over national economic priorities by an order of the Central Administrative Court. The activities of mega enterprises in the industrial estate were suspended for several months, and new investment projects were halted. The case also signifies path dependence in Thai pollution management, where the authority of the Ministry of Industry (MOI) exceeds that of environmental agencies. Since the promulgation of the 1975 environmental law, Thailand has adopted a dual system to deal with industrial pollution by paralleling the authority of the MOI with that of environmental agencies. After this lawsuit, the MOI introduced the concept of “Eco-industrial Towns” and started a system for controlling the VOC emissions in the area. The institutional authority at the initial stage in many ways impacts the later enforcement of pollution management in Thailand.
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