Gen Surasak Kanjanarat, the environment minister, said that environmental issues plaguing Easter Seaboard could become worse as it is once the EEC or Eastern Economic Corridor is completed. The EEC is the pet project of Thai government which focuses on industrial development. This is one of the concerns of businesses like Rayong city hotel as they fear it can impact the environment and drive tourist away.
Gen Surasak said, they will be able to earn more once the EEC is already up and running but he is questioning the compromise that goes along with it which is unclean air and pollution to the environment.
The Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning or Onep recently organized a public hearing where he was a speaker and he said that all developments are expected to have an impact on the environment and it is the government’s job to make sure it does not go over the limit. The public hearing focused on the proposed environmental plan from 2018 until 2021 to counter the negative impacts of the corridor.
Gen Surasak added that the level of environmental protection for this project is higher that has ever been implemented before in order to avoid any issues. He clarified that using the same level as before is not recommended because he believed that it will compromise the environmental management plan they have devised.
Onep has already finished the environment plan they have for the corridor. Before the year ends, the proposal is going to be sent to the office of the national committee responsible for the EEC policy which is headed by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.
The proposal focuses on the environment plan for the provinces of Rayong, Chachoengsao and Chon Buri. The plan is set on making sure that production will have less pollution and will encourage natural resource conservation so that sustainable development may be attained.
This is good news for the businesses in the area including Rayong city hotel because factories will have to comply with several assessments such as IEE, EIAs and EHIAs before they can fully operate.