BMA aims for cleaner, safer air

BMA aims for cleaner, safer air

A couple take in the view as haze shrouds the Bangkok skyline early last month. (Photo: Arnun Chonmahatrakool)
A couple take in the view as haze shrouds the Bangkok skyline early last month. (Photo: Arnun Chonmahatrakool)

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) plans to elevate the PM2.5 safety standard from 50 to 37.5 µg/m³.

Chatree Wattanakhajorn, deputy permanent secretary for the BMA, also said that the one-year average will likewise be lifted from 25 to 15 µg/m³ as per World Health Organization air quality standards.

Mr Chatree said the BMA's plan for this year aims to coordinate with other government agencies to tackle sources of pollution.

The BMA will also seek public participation to improve air quality in areas such as car maintenance, he said.

BMA pollution control operations will likewise be improved, he said, to ensure they align with new safety standards.

Over the long term, oil fuel containing no more than 10ppm will be designated for use in Bangkok and nearby provinces from 2024, Mr Chatree said.

The BMA will enforce Euro 6 exhaust standards on cars this year to improve health standards, he added.

Wicharn Simachaya, president of the air quality standard subcommittee of the National Environment Board, said the cabinet has approved the inclusion of pollution control measures as an issue of priority for the government during 2019-2024.

A National Environment Board meeting has reported that the PM2.5 pollution situation in Bangkok and 17 Northern provinces has improved with decreasing levels over the past year. The meeting likewise reported that hotspots in the North fell by 69%.

Meanwhile, Athapol Charoenchansa, director-general of the Pollution Control Department, attended a Triple Conference of the Parties in Geneva, Switzerland this month.

Mr Athapol has also recently approved new chemical standards for wastewater drainage from power plants. He said there will be a need for vehicle exhaust standards to align with Euro 5 from Jan 1, 2024.

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