Thailand steps up measures to tackle air pollution

Air pollution in Bangkok. File photo

(NNT) – The Pollution Control Department is set to implement stringent pollution control measures to halve airborne particles caused by vehicle emissions in Bangkok, providing special check-up packages for vehicles in use for more than 7 years.

The Pollution Control Department (PCD) is rolling out its plan to curb air pollution caused by vehicle emissions in Bangkok and neighboring provinces, which is a major cause of seasonal haze.

Starting from November, the department will be working together with the Royal Thai Police and the Department of Land Transport to set up road checkpoints to inspect vehicle exhausts.

Vehicles found emitting black smoke that exceeds the legal limits will face a 5,000 baht fine, and will be ordered to stay out of service until fixed. Such vehicles must go through required maintenance and inspections before it is authorized for use again.

The PCD has asked petroleum providers PTT Oil and Retail Business (PTT OR) and Bangchak to start retailing their Euro 5-equivalent diesel during the haze period. This low sulfur fuel, which contains up to 10 ppm of sulfur, can help reduce airborne particulate matter known as PM 2.5 by 24% and is compatible with older engines.

This new type of fuel is expected to be available in Bangkok and neighboring provinces from December 2021 to February 2022.

The PCD is also working with car manufacturers and dealers to offer check-up and maintenance packages at a special price for vehicles that have been in service for 7 years and above. These special packages will be provided at service centers of 11 vehicle brands.