Greenpeace Southeast Asia’s Statement on the serious toxics pollution in Map Ta Phut

Press release - January 24, 2007
The recent decision by the National Environmental Board (NEB) to delay the decision declaring Map Ta Phut a Pollution Control Zone is a total disgrace . The decision clearly shows that the Government is more concerned about the well-being of polluting companies than the health of the villagers and the environment.

A Greenpeace activist makes a V-victory sign under a banner set on a crane on the construction site of a power plant built in Rayong, Thailand, Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2005. The Rainbow Warrior is on a 10-week tour of Asia to sound the alarm about dangerous climate change. BLCP is the develpper of a 1,434 MW coal fired power statgion in Map Ta Phut industrial estate in the Rayong province of Thailand.

Declaring MTP as a Pollution Control Zone is a necessary first step towards addressing and ultimately eliminating the grave problem of toxics pollution now threatening the lives of people and neighboring communities around the industrial estate. With this declaration, the government can start implementing the serious task of auditing all toxic releases coming from the estate, and in the process identify the biggest contributors to pollution loading in the area. Polluters should be required to drastically reduce and eventually eliminate pollution coming from their facilities. Pollution trading between companies will not address the problem but will merely justify and reinforce the prevailing practice of continuing toxic discharges by companies in the industrial estate. Greenpeace believes that the real and lasting solution to the pollution problem in MTP and in other polluted areas in the country, lies in the government's and industry's adoption of clean production programs that will encourage and require companies to phase out the use of toxic substances and bring in the use of safer substitutes  in their production processes. Pending that, the government must stop the expansion of major polluting industries in the area, such as proposed new coal power plants and petrochemical industries.

However, by continuing to advance the interests of polluting industries in the area, the government has shamelessly sacrificed the health and welfare of thousands of residents in the affected communities in exchange for the profit margins of corporations.