11 July 2024

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin approved the Move Forward party’s air cleanliness bill while in Chiang Mai province today, and has sent it back to parliament to be included on the agenda for debate.

Previously, two similar bills, one initiated by the cabinet and the other by a people’s network were included on the House’s agenda, but without the one proposed by Move Forward, causing resentment among its members.

On Tuesday, the cabinet endorsed the government’s air cleanliness bill, which has gone through a public hearing process and has been vetted by the Council of State. The bill will be used as the basis, along with two other bills, during the deliberations in parliament.

The bill set out short, medium and long-term measures to cope with the PM2.5 problem, aiming to bring about clean air for public safety.

In the government-sponsored bill, there are some clauses which may infringe on the rights and liberties of the people, which are protected by the Constitution.

The reasoning for the introduction of such provisions is to tackle air pollution at its sources and to prevent the problem from spreading in a way which may threaten the environment and public safety.

The bill is also aimed at developing air quality assessment, monitoring and early warning systems and introduces criminal and civil liabilities for violators, who may face a jail terms of up to one year and/or a fine of 100,000 baht and a daily fine of up to 10,000 baht until the pollution problem is resolved, if convicted.

Owners of property or factories outside Thai territory who cause air pollution in the kingdom may face a fine of two million baht and an additional fine of one million baht per day on conviction.