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BANGKOK 25 March 2019 23:26
webfact

Plans begin for smog season in Bangkok

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Plans begin for smog season

By Pratch Rujivanarom 
The Nation 

 

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Seoul shows the way with procedures varying according to air pollution’s intensity

 

THE GOVERNMENT has begun planning ahead for the next “smog season” in Bangkok, preparing a graduated system of emergency responses and possibly a major upgrade for the transport sector.

 

Natural Resources and Environment Ministry Permanent Secretary Wijarn Simachaya yesterday announced that Thailand would follow South Korea’s example in tackling harmful PM2.5 dust.

 

Speaking at an academic seminar on air pollution and preventive measures at the Environment Quality Promotion Department, Wijarn said official procedures would be established for the agencies involved to follow, with controls in place for every source of pollutants.

 

Wijarn said smog season had now ended in Bangkok, but it’s certain that the capital and other provinces would again be shrouded in pollution next winter, when weather conditions were most conducive to the accumulation of PM2.5. 

 

By that time, however, effective mitigation measures would be in place, he said.

 

“I recently visited Seoul to discuss their experiences in combating PM2.5 air pollution,” Wijarn said. “Both Bangkok and Seoul suffered from severe smog this year.

 

“I learned that South Korea has a set of procedures to guide agencies on how strictly they should enforce environmental-protection regulations and execute measures to reduce the release of pollution at every source, based on the severity of the smog situation at any given time.”

 

With different sets of control measures to cope with different levels of PM2.5, South Korea can more efficiently tackle the problem, he said. Thailand can replicate this strategy.

 

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“The PCD [Pollution Control Department] has prepared a similar emergency-response plan based on the severity of the air pollution, which has already been presented to the Cabinet,” Wijarn said.

 

Disease Control Department deputy director-general Dr Kajohnsak Kaewjarus said the Public Health Ministry had also developed its own emergency-response plan in preparation for next winter’s smog.

 

“In monitoring air-pollution-related illnesses at 22 hospitals in Bangkok and neighbouring provinces, we noticed a jump in the prevalence of asthma, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and other respiratory diseases during smog season, confirming the threat that PM2.5 poses to people’s health,” Kajohnsak said.

 

“So the relevant agencies under the Health Ministry are closely working with the PCD and local administrative organisations to prepare for the next smog season and protect people from health threats.” 

 

Yossapong Laoonual, a lecturer in mechanical engineering at King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi, stressed that, unless the smog problem is dealt with at its sources, Thailand would suffer from severe air pollution every winter.

 

Exhaust from cars biggest polluter 

 

He urged the authorities to upgrade vehicle engine and fuel standards to Euro 6 and ease traffic congestion in Bangkok to ensure sustained control of the smog over the long term.

 

Yossapong cited scientific studies that concurred the primary source of PM2.5 in Bangkok was exhaust from millions of cars, meaning it was crucial to focus on limiting emissions in the transport sector to ease air pollution.

 

“The standard for engines and fuel in Thailand is still Euro 4, which generates significantly higher levels of PM2.5 than Euro 6 – the standard most developed countries are now using,” he said.

 

“We are years behind many countries in terms of both the engine and fuel standard and environmental protection. So our industrial and energy sectors need to spearhead the effort to upgrade the engine and fuel standard to match the international norm and ensure a healthier environment in the future.”

 

Yossapong suggested the government encourage drivers to switch from combustion to electric engines, get old cars off the roads, promote carpooling and prod citizens to walk, bike or use public transport instead of driving.

 

Permanent Secretary Wijarn said the fuel standard would be upgraded to Euro 5 by 2021 and to Euro 6 by 2023. Meanwhile the public transit system was being extended and a tax cut on electric cars and higher tax on old vehicles were being considered, he said.

 

Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/national/30364348

 

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 -- © Copyright The Nation 2019-02-19

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How do you enact or enforce social reform in regards to pollution when the nations citizens refuse to obey basic laws and the politicians lack the education and vision to drive real change.

 

Keep spinning your wheels in the 3rd world Thailand.

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More talk for 'the next one' and when the next one happens there will be even more talk !

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3 minutes ago, trainman34014 said:

More talk for 'the next one' and when the next one happens there will be even more talk !

Not that you'll be able to understand what they're saying clearly via a muffled smog mask.

  • Haha 1

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Bangkok has smog problems when the fields around the city, all the way to Kanchanaburi and up to P'lok, are on fire. The smog cloud drifts towards the Bay of Bangkok when the air cools down. This is a yearly problem that has become more serious as farmers grow more rice crops and since a lot of them turned to sugarcane.

 

Just analyze the wind and fire maps.

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New standards just create a new cash opportunity for cival servants, right down to the emissions officers...

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11 hours ago, webfact said:

yesterday announced that Thailand would follow South Korea’s example in tackling harmful PM2.5 dust

That must've been a bitter pill to swallow .. 

 

11 hours ago, webfact said:

The standard for engines and fuel in Thailand is still Euro 4, which generates significantly higher levels of PM2.5 than Euro 6 – the standard most developed countries are now using,” he said.

Do a degree true but Euro 6 engines require as much periodic maintenance and servicing as older units and there in lies the rub with a lot of the old smokers operating here .. They are simply not serviced in accordance with the manufacturers schedules .. A lot of Euro 6 engines also require an additive called Ad-blue be sprayed into the exhaust via a special injector to chemically nullify some of the compounds still within the exhaust gases .. This additive is held in a separate tank so requires periodic replenishment .. Failure to do so and allowing the Ad-blue tank to run dry will then send the engine into " limp " mode resulting in limited rev's ( if it will start at all ) so limited movement .. So maybe expect lots of high tech diesels ( commercial especially ) limping to the side of the road because of no Ad-blue .. 

 

11 hours ago, webfact said:

Wijarn said smog season had now ended in Bangkok,

Dream on .. This stuff is constantly being added to on a daily basis by 000's of vehicles moving 'round Bangkok 24/7 .. It may , may have subsided in recent days due to weather conditions but it hasnt been negated and will return in higher concentration again .. Said before the way forward to this is severely cut the number of vehicles entering and being used in Bangkok .. But the authorities have not the will and the population not the appetite for that .. 

Edited by Justgrazing
Sp
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In my experience, Thais are absolutely enthusiastic in organizing discussions, plannings, workshops, anything that involves travel to meetings in some fancy hotel with aircon and dinners and pretend that something is being done.

The problem is that almost nothing ever materializes out of these meetings.

 

Reading the article, it's easy to see that this will be the case also in this instance.

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