Government orders factories to monitor emissions.

Thailand’s government has ordered up to 600 factories across the country to strictly monitor and report their emissions as part of efforts to improve air quality and people’s health in the Kingdom, overriding an old law that requires monitoring only at large industrial estates in some provinces.

The Ministry of Industry said that under the new law, factories would be ordered to install the Continuous Emission Monitoring Systems (CEMS), which wasexpected to operate around the clock. Such mandatory requirement is expected to be in force by next year with a maximum fine of $6,600 for violators.

“The government is worried about harmful dust levels caused by factories, ageing fossil fuel-powered vehicles and bush fires, as the pollutants can seriously harm people’s health in the long term,” said Industry Minister Suriya Juangroongruangkit.

Under this policy, the government aims to continue adding more factories to install CEMS.

“Air quality in Bangkok and its vicinity has improved over time, thanks to tighter controls on open-air burning and vehicle emissions,” said Siwaporn Rangsiyanon, Deputy Spokesperson of the Pollution Control Department, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. Also, many factories in the petroleum industry, as well as steel and stone mills, have cooperated by installing CEMS.

It is also forecasted that a change in wind direction in the near future will help clear some smog from the city.

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