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 Home > About Thailand > Manufacturing > Environmental Management

Environmental Management and Industrial Development

The rapid economic growth resulting from industrialization and export promotion has been accompanied by a deterioration in environmental quality. Waste discharge has serious effects both within and outside the factories' premises. Recognizing that a deterioration environment may impact both economic development and the quality of life of the Thai people, the government made provisions in the Sixth National Development Plan to integrate the needs of environmental protection and conservation with the needs of the expanding industrial economy.

The Seventh Plan set definite targets to improve environmental quality throughout the country. This was a departure from previous plans on a number of accounts. Most significant was the recognition that the task ahead was beyond the scope of government alone. The formulation of this plan was intended to be a consensus-building exercise. It relied on the cooperative effort of all sectors, including government agencies, state enterprises and universities, the private sector, and non-government organizations.

There are many laws and regulations pertaining to the environment. In June of 1992, a new National Environmental Quality Act replaced the 1975 National Environment Act, creating a stronger foundation for a system of national environmental management.

In April 1992, a new Hazardous Substances Act introduced a comprehensive control framework for the possession, use and handling of all substances considered mutation-inducing, infectious explosive flammable and corrosive. Later that year, a new Factories Act retained the basic restrictions of the former one but included strict pollution regulations and tougher penalties. Firms proposing investments in industries, such as petrochemicals, industrial estates, steel industries which might harm the environment, are required to perform an environmental-impact study prior to receiving permission to set up factories.

There are also several agencies which deal with various aspects of environmental regulation and management in the country, including divisions of the Ministry of Industry, the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment, the Ministry of Public Health, the Ministry of Interior, and the Ministry of Transport and Communications.


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