PCD lays, withdraws charges on same day
The Pollution Control Department (PCD) yesterday withdrew pollution charges against a sugar mill in Nakhon Ratchasima province after the company, that has long been known for causing air and noise pollution for the past decade, pledged to improve its environmental record, its director Attapol Charoenchansa said.
The move was perceived as an abrupt U-turn as the PCD had earlier yesterday filed charges against against Korat Industry company, a sugar mill located in Pimai district, before withdrawing them in the afternoon.
Mr Attapol had assigned the Regional 11 Environment Office to press charges against the company yesterday morning after learning that the factory failed to submit an environmental mitigation plan on Feb 8, as promised.
However, the PCD decided to give the factory another chance after representatives pledged to improve its environmental performance.
The sugar mill has been accused of causing air and noise pollution for over a decade, and residents had often asked the authorities for help, without much response.
They accused the plant of air and noise pollution, especially during the sugar cane harvest period when they said lorries would come and go all day and night.
A group of 50 villagers representing the community adjacent to the sugar mill filed their last complaint against the factory last month.
The PCD went to investigate the site and on Feb 2 held a meeting with representatives from Korat Industry, the company at the centre of the dispute, local villagers and the provincial administration. It went to check the site again on Feb 8, but noted that no improvements appeared to have been made nor had an environmental mitigation plan been offered.