Paper No. 13
Presentation Time: 4:20 PM
A MONITORING SCHEME PROPOSAL FOR PREVENTING ILLEGAL TOXIC WASTE DISPOSALS IN THAILAND
Along with rapid industrial expansion in Thailand, particularly in the country’s eastern seaboard, inevitably comes the pollution and degradation of the environment and thereby has been the subject of contention and cause of concern. Illegal dumping of toxic waste has become more rampant and is mostly found in locations near the capital. Local residents are at risk of long term health impacts for exposure to the toxic waste. Harmful substances from the toxic waste can leach into surface water, subsurface water and groundwater and threaten the life and livelihood of the locals as these waters are main sources of drinking water. To effectively address this problem, enforcement of stringent controls on sources of the wastes, transportation and handling processes and illegal dumping destinations, is imperative. This paper focuses on the control of illegal dumping destinations and proposes a plan to monitor high risk areas susceptible to illegal toxic waste disposal. The initial phase of the plan is to characterize key features of illegal dumping sites in the high risk areas, review current laws and regulations pertinent to solid waste handling and transportation, and propose a monitoring scheme to better prevent future illegal dumping. Studies on illegal dumping in Thailand classify illegal disposal into five main categories by toxic waste phases and dump sites. A great number of illegal dumping incidents occurred in old abandoned borrow pits. The construction boom in Bangkok in particular of the last three decades has led to earth materials being dug out in great volume and thereby left behind innumerable deep borrow pits. Locations of the borrow pits are scattered in many areas surrounding the capital. The borrow pits of highest risk are old and abandoned ones located on the main roads connecting to industrial estates and concealed with dense potato and eucalyptus fields. In this paper, a risk map is drawn up to indicate zones with degrees of risk. This map can be utilized by both regional and local governmental agencies in addition to the local residents to determine whether their areas are in the high risk where extra precaution is required. Frequent and constant monitoring programs including environmental measurement should be put in place for these established high risk areas.