The Thailand Project
In September 1999, EPA Region 7 staff traveled to Thailand to meet with the Map Ta Phut (MTP) Environmental Task Force to provide technical assistance in developing and implementing an air quality study at MTP. The study was initiated after the task force received input from the community on its necessity.
Some of the most notable issues being discussed include: the state-of-the-art air dispersion modeling methodologies, and the air toxic monitoring scheme. The Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (IEAT) will invite the community to participate in the collection of data for the study, and plans to produce a newsletter or billboard updating the community on environmental progress.
Enhancement of Environmental Management Capabilities
In order to support this complex study and efforts to improve the local environment, Region 7 staff are also assisting the IEAT with: environmental management systems, public communication approaches, the identification of pollution prevention and waste minimization opportunities, Geographic Information System capabilities, and industrial estate planning.
In September 1999, the MTP staff drafted a request to bid for the design of an electronic data system to manage air, water, and waste environmental data at the MTP Industrial Estate. The IEAT Board of Directors has approved the expenditure of 9 million Baht (approx. $250,000) for the initial design and construction of this system, with the possibility of additional funds for future expansion. MTP staff are very enthusiastic about the prospect of managing environmental data electronically and have asked for additional assistance throughout the system's development.
The IEAT currently has 29 industrial estates for which there are no positions that are fully dedicated to environmental management.
In a September 1998 report delivered to the IEAT, the EPA Region 7 team provided information regarding the environmental staffing and monetary resource requirements from our Region 7 state environmental programs. EPA Region 7 provided resource information in terms of the number of permits issued by state permit engineer position and the number of monitors operated by monitor staff position, etc. In September 1999, the MTP received approval for a full-time modeling position and expects to receive approval for five to six additional environmental staff positions in the next year.
The MTP environmental program will serve as a pilot project for the IEAT nationwide. If the MTP staff can show the benefit of these environmental management systems and approaches, these critical environmental systems and the staffing to support these systems will be perpetuated in other industrial estates throughout Thailand long after this study has been completed. These changes will make it possible for IEAT to become autonomous in the proactive management of environmental issues and the implementation of future environmental studies.
- Size: 514,000 sq. km
- Population: 58.6 million (1994)
- 1 of 10 Thais live in Bangkok
- 90% of motor vehicles in nation are registered in Bangkok
- Unleaded gasoline was introduced for the first time on May 1, 1991.
- Mandatory installation of catalytic converters in all new gasoline vehicles became effective September 1, 1993.
Electronic Data System Project
Benefits will be:
- creating a multimedia system;
- creating an accessible direct data input for authorized facilities;
- creating as part of the system a standard data analyses;
- the construction of this new data system will require additional office space;
- the new system will allow for electronic versions of permits and correspondence to be available on-line to local facilities.
Thailand has created one office to deal with environmental issues. Thailand's approach to industrial estates is a one-stop shopping approach. IEAT staff solicit facilities, build infrastructure, plan estate designs, issue commercial and environmental permits and implement safety and environmental programs.
EPA Region 7 Contact
Kathleen L. Fenton
CARE Program Manager