EARTH Thailand

Corporate Accountability


Industry Minister assures Cabinet resolution to end gold mining still stands

National News Bureau of Thailand (NNT)  14 June 2016

BANGKOK – The Ministry of Industry has corrected rumors being spread online that a Cabinet resolution to end gold mining in the country has been cancelled.


PCD ready to sting ethanol firm with fine

Bangkok Post 22 October 2016 | Apinya Wipatayotin

Wastewater thought to have killed rays

The Pollution Control Department (PCD) will lodge a complaint with local police next week against Rajburi Ethanol Co for allowing wastewater containing molasses to leak into the Mae Klong River, killing many giant stingrays.


Giant stingrays under threat in Mae Klong River

The Nation 09 October 2016 | Pratch Rujivanarom 

GIANT freshwater stingrays are facing extinction in the Mae Klong River, a leading marine biologist warned yesterday as mass deaths attributed to water pollution killed a large segment of the population.

As many as 20 giant freshwater stingrays were found dead this week along the Mae Klong River in Samut Songkhram. The cause of death was still unknown yesterday, but researchers said poor water quality was a major cause of ecological damage.


Fish out of water

Bangkok Post 16 October 2016 | Paritta Wangkiat

Polluted water is suspected in a spate of deaths of an endangered giant stingray

A rarely sighted creature -- the giant freshwater stingray -- was lying still on the bottom of the big blue tank.

The animal was exhausted but still looked majestic with its oval body measuring almost two metres in length.


Stingray deaths spur checks

Bangkok Post 12 October 2016 | Apinya Wipatayotin

Pollution dept orders toxic discharge tests

Wastewater discharged from factories is likely to be behind a sudden spike in deaths of stingrays in Samut Songkhram, but lab test results may not be able to provide a link to the culprits, says the Department of Pollution Control.


Pollution, toxic chemicals blamed for death of 60 stingrays in Mae Klong

The Nation 19 October 2016 | Pratch Rujivanarom 

But scientists are divided over exact cause; “wastewater released for years”

THE deaths of giant freshwater stingrays in the Mae Klong River could have been caused by a combination of pollution created by human activities and natural phenomena.


Thailand to Shut Largest Gold Mine on Environment Concerns

By Bloomberg 10 May 2016

By Suttinee Yuvejwattana | Supunnabul Suwannakij | David Stringer 

Thailand will shutter its largest gold mine by the end of the year after the government said concern the project was damaging the environment and sickening workers outweighed its economic benefit.


Struggle against mining violations leaves activists exposed


Communities across the country face a troubling pattern of threats, violence and judicial harassment

Late in the evening of May 15, 2014, more than 100 men, most of them armed and wearing black masks, stormed a small village in Loei province and assaulted more than a dozen men and women who opposed a local copper and gold mine.


Thai court scraps mine defamation case in rare media win

Agence France-Presse 16 November 2016

A Thai court on Wednesday threw out defamation charges against a news agency for alleging environmental damage by a gold mine, a lawyer said, in a rare win for press freedom in the country.


Apple, GE Suppliers Linked to Rebel-held Myanmar Tin Mine

Reuters 29 November 2016 | Yimou Lee and Joel Schectman

From a remote corner of northeastern Myanmar, an insurgent army sells tin ore to suppliers of some of the world's largest consumer companies.

More than 500 companies, including leading brands such as smartphone maker Apple, coffee giant Starbucks and luxury jeweler Tiffany & Co, list among their suppliers Chinese-controlled firms that indirectly buy ore from the Man Maw mine near Myanmar's border with China, a Reuters examination of the supply chain found.


California EPA says settled with Apple on hazardous waste claims

Reuters 06 December 2016 | Stephen Nellis

The California Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday said Apple Inc agreed to pay $450,000 to settle state claims that it had mishandled hazardous electronic waste at facilities in Silicon Valley.

Apple also agreed to increase inspections to settle allegations about facilities in Cupertino and Sunnyvale, the Agency's Department of Toxic Substances Control said.


Japan Mercury-Poisoning Victims Demand Tests, 60 Years Later

AP 07 December 2016 | Yuri Kageyama  

TOKYO — Six decades after "Minamata disease" mercury poisoning was first discovered, victims and their advocates are demanding tests for food toxicity and illnesses be carried out to help identify patients.


NGOs demand Samsung protect employees from toxic chemicals

Chemical Watch 07 December 2016 | Tammy Lovell

Call for electronics giant to compensate ill factory workers

A network of NGOs is calling on Samsung to protect its employees from toxic chemicals and compensate those who contracted diseases, while working in its factories. 


Tests prove ethanol plant leak killed giant stingrays

Bangkok Post 21 October 2016

The Pollution Control Department will sue Rajburi Ethanol Co for allowing molasses wastewater to leak into the Mae Klong River, killing many giant stingrays and other aquatic life.

Director-general Wijarn Simachaya said on Friday testing had shown that molasses wastewater leaked from the plant into the river in Ban Pong district of Ratchaburi, polluting it and killing aquatic life, including many native giant stingrays, in Ratchaburi and Samut Songkhram provinces from Oct 1 to 7.


Show corporate responsibility

Bangkok Post 02 December 2009 | EDITORIAL

That the ruling by the Supreme Administrative Court on the suspension of 76 industrial projects at Map Ta Phut, scheduled to be delivered today, comes a full month earlier than expected is good news, because the final verdict will put an end to all uncertainties and allow every party involved to move on in the right legal direction.


Most Map Ta Phut projects off hook

Bangkok Post 03 September 2010

Rayong villagers react emotionally, slam govt

The Administrative Court has ordered the operating permits of only two industrial projects in the Map Ta Phut area to be terminated, allowing 74 other earlier-suspended projects to go ahead.

The court on Thursday handed down its ruling in the case filed by Map Ta Phut villagers and the Stop Global Warming Association against eight state agencies in June last year.


Gold mine protesters hurt by armed mob and shady deals

By The Isaan Record  20 May 2014

LOEI— Charging with clubs, broken bottles, slingshots, and guns, approximately 300 masked men descended on Na Nong Bong community at 10 p.m. on May 15, villagers claim. Moving under the cover of darkness, and suspected of cutting power to the village, these men had the tactical edge over community members keeping watch at three checkpoints along the road to a controversial mine in Khao Luang District.


Final ruling on Klity Creek compensation case

Bangkok Post 14 July 2016

The Supreme Court on Thursday reduced a compensation claim in the Klity Creek poisoning scandal from 29 million baht to 20 million baht, and ended a 13-year legal battle.

The case was first brought to Kanchanaburi Provincial Court in early 2003 by eight Karen villagers living at Klity Lang, a remote village in a national forest in Kanchanaburi's Thong Pha Phum district. The eight plaintiffs are four adults and four children who have developed chronic diseases associated with lead poisoning. They were represented by two solicitors from the Lawyers Council of Thailand. 


Residents get payout over fires at landfill dump

Bangkok Post 17 July 2016

Writer: Suthiwit Chayutworakan & Penchan Charoensuthipan

Residents affected by potentially hazardous smoke from fires at the Praeksa landfill dump in Samut Prakan two years ago have each received 3,000 baht in compensation from the dump owner following a settlement.



Plaintiffs in Klity Creek case triumph after 13-year effort


Supreme court's 'historic' verdict includes bt20.2M compensation, mandatory clean-up pf contamination and blame for executives.

A 13-YEAR-LONG court battle with a lead-mining company has finally come to an end for people from the Lower Klity village in Kanchaburi province, as the Supreme Court ruled yesterday that residents will be compensated and executives forced to fund the clean up of Klity Creek.


Dawei locals, CSOs raise concerns over violation of human rights

MYANMAR ELEVEN 10 March 2016

CIVIL SOCIETY organisations (CSOs) and local residents living near the Dawei Special Economic Zone (SEZ) have called for action from the Japanese, Myanmar and Thai governments to tackle human rights violations before allowing the project to resume.


Call For Protection: Locals Affected In Dawei SEZ Concern Over Compensation

Myanmar ITV, 07 March 2016

A Dawei Development Association-DDA report released Monday suggests, the Dawei Special Economic Zone has caused some negative impacts to locals, especially on the lack of transparency, consistency, and negotiations on compensation for affected lands.


Alarm over Rayong fish deaths

Bangkok Post 19 Mar 2016 

RAYONG — Fishermen and activists in this eastern province want an investigation into the exact cause of mass fish deaths, which authorities insist are part of a natural phenomenon that occurs every year.

However, some local people suspect waste discharged from factories at the Map Ta Phut industrial estate could be linked to the thousands of dead fish that have washed up on Ta Kuan beach.


Cases of blood contamination


NEARLY HALF of the people living near a gold mine in Phichit province have been found to have abnormally high levels of manganese in their blood as indicated by a study run by Rangsit University.

420 of the people tested had higher than normal levels of manganese. "About 19.52 per cent of those who provided blood samples also have abnormally high levels of arsenic in their blood. The level of cyanide is higher tha normal in 5.88 per cent,"


Court orders payout for 203 Rayong oil spill victims

Bangkok Post 26 August 2016

PTT Global Chemical Plc (PTTGC) and its former president Bowon Vongsinudom have been ordered by the Civil Court to pay financial compensation to 203 people affected by the July 27, 2013 oil spill in Rayong.  The spill caused damage to several beaches and the overall environment in the province.


55 Years After Agent Orange Was Used In Vietnam, One Of Its Creators Is Thriving Here

Huffington Post 30 August 2016 | By Dien Luong, Freelance Investigative Journalist

Monsanto is expanding in a country it once helped destroy.

HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam ― Fifty-five years ago this month, the U.S. Army began spraying millions of gallons of the toxic defoliant known as Agent Orange over large swaths of southern Vietnam. Today, however, instead of resentment and isolation from the U.S., the country is awash with Americanophilia.


Residents claim potash mines causing problems

The Nation 01 September  2016 | Pratch Rujivanarom

TRANSPARENCY and strict environmental regulations are needed to avoid problems between local communities and potash mines, an academic said recently.

Rungreung Lertsirivorakul, a geologist at Khon Kaen University, said mining companies should make their operation plans clear to the public to avoid problems, adding that suspicious and hidden strategies would only give rise to conflicts.


Seminar seeks to shine spotlight on mercury-linked Minamata disease

Kyodo  07 September 2016 | Keiji Hirano

Victims, researchers and academics will on Saturday gather in Bangkok for a seminar marking the 60th anniversary since the discovery of mercury poisoning malady Minamata disease.

To be held at Chulalongkorn University, speakers will include Shinobu Sakamoto, a Kumamoto Prefecture native who contracted Minamata disease, which paralyzes the central nervous system and causes birth defects, in the womb.


Investigation of chemicals released by the Vinythai and Thai Plastic & Chemicals (TPC) PVC manufacturing facilities, Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate, Rayong Province, Thailand

By Kevin Brigden, Iryna Labunska & David Santillo: Greenpeace Research Laboratories, November 2004

Vinythai and Thai Plastic & Chemicals (TPC) operate separate polyvinyl chloride (PVC) manufacturing facilities within the Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate, in Rayong Province, Thailand.  Canals flow through the estate and receive discharged wastewaters from many facilities prior to discharging into the Gulf of Thailand.  Both PVC manufacturing facilities discharge wastewaters to one of these canals herein referred to as the east canal.  Within the Vinythai and TPC facilities, PVC is produced as well as the raw materials used in its manufacture, namely chlorine, ethylene dichloride (EDC) and vinyl chloride monomer (VCM).