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Meetings held to seek answer to Bangkok smog


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Meetings held to seek answer to Bangkok smog

By Piyaporn Wongruang 
The Nation

 

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Visitors to the Erawan Shrine in downtown Bangkok have been asked not to light candles or joss sticks as it could help reduce air pollution by 5 to 8 per cent, officials say.

 

AS PUBLIC AGITATION over the hazardous air in Bangkok continues to grow, a fresh look at how to deal with PM2.5 particulates is underway, with consecutive meetings being held by the national pollution-control committee and environmental board.

 

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Authorities are discussing additional mitigation measures with PM2.5 levels expected to reach “severe” Levels 3 and 4 beginning today, Environment Minister Surasak Kanchanarat told reporters yesterday.

 

Separate actions for each of the four levels of severity are being reviewed after the Pollution Control Department (PCD) on Monday consulted with other agencies involved. 

 

The first level addresses PM2.5 with concentrations up to 50 micrograms per cubic metre. The second involves particles between 50 and 75 micrograms, the third between 70 and 100 and the fourth beyond 100 micrograms for more than three consecutive days. 

 

The first two levels will trigger intensified checks on exhaust fumes from diesel-powered vehicles, water spraying, artificial rainmaking and the suspension of major public transportation construction to relieve traffic congestion.

 

Surasak said the pollution committee would hear from experts today and select more stringent measures to deal with PM2.5 Level 3, while the environmental board would separately meet to address Level 5.

 

Possible measures for a worst-case scenario include a ban on some diesel-powered vehicles for a specified amount of time, the minister said.

 

He said the governors of Bangkok and adjacent provinces could declare “disturbance-control zones” at major pollution sources if the situation reaches Level 3.

 

More pumps rated B20 diesel standard would be opened at petrol stations in outer Bangkok starting next week, Surasak said, and meanwhile experts were testing the efficacy of spraying water more delicately. If that proves worthwhile, it would be implemented around high-rise buildings.

 

General Surasak said, without elaborating, that long-term policy was needed to control the number of vehicles on the roads and get more people riding public rail transit.

 

“But please don’t be worried – we have a plan and steps to deal with the problem,” said Surasak, while conceding that the pollution crisis was unprecedented. Most citizens only became aware of it a few years ago when the PCD installed particle-measuring devices at 43 Bangkok stations.

 

Agencies prepared for the problem and came to a mutual understanding in November, he said.

 

The government has also prepared a future rehabilitation plan for people whose health is affected and in the long run will shift public-transportation policy towards rail rather than personal vehicles. This aligns with Thailand’s commitment in the Paris Agreement and become a “low-carbon society” by cutting “business-as-usual emissions” by 20-25 per cent by 2030.

 

Thailand has joined other nations in a global pledge to cut greenhouse gases under the umbrella of the UN Climate Convention. The transportation and energy sectors create almost 75 per cent of the harmful gases, said Raweewan Bhuridej, secretary-general of the Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning. 

 

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Public rail transit could help cut up to 35 million tonnes of CO2 emissions, she said. It has so far contributed a cut of 45.6 million tonnes.

 

“During the construction [of public rail transit] there will be some dust and pollution. It’s all connected,” said Surasak.

 

The pollution is now reverting between Levels 1 and 3. He said, and on some days reaches Level 3 but there is no consistency in the density.

 

Surasak said the Meteorological Department told him the weather would soon ease the smog situation, but there could be more problems on January 28 and 29 when the north-easterly wind weakens.

 

Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/national/30362817

 

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-- © Copyright The Nation 2019-01-24
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2 hours ago, webfact said:

Visitors to the Erawan Shrine in downtown Bangkok have been asked not to light candles or joss sticks as it could help reduce air pollution by 5 to 8 per cent, officials say.

When I saw the photo of the joss sticks, I initially thought it was a bed of nails - perhaps a new approach to draining smog from the body?

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“But please don’t be worried – we have a plan and steps to deal with the problem,”

Hold meetings, shuffle papers, clear throats, pray nature will take care of the smog, then go back to business as usual

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Spraying water and shutting down the Erawan Shrine will only do so much. As the spirits are obviously angry and demand to be appeased, appropriate action needs to be taken immediately. The way is clear…the government needs to (somehow) find a dozen (white-skinned) virgins and throw them into the sacred ceremonial fire. Nothing else will do…

 

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10 million vehicles in Bangkok, all the information in the world about hazardous air pollution and it's causes......and what do these dolts do?....they have a meeting to find  out what to do!

The soothsayers that advise these clowns are making a bundle!

 

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23 minutes ago, Hayduke said:

Spraying water and shutting down the Erawan Shrine will only do so much. As the spirits are obviously angry and demand to be appeased, appropriate action needs to be taken immediately. The way is clear…the government needs to (somehow) find a dozen (white-skinned) virgins and throw them into the sacred ceremonial fire. Nothing else will do…

It would create a new wifi 'hotspot' I suppose.

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36 minutes ago, Emdog said:

“But please don’t be worried – we have a plan and steps to deal with the problem,”

Hold meetings, shuffle papers, clear throats, pray nature will take care of the smog, then go back to business as usual

 

dont worry; wear a paper/cloth mask, you'll be fine.

 

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20 minutes ago, ChrisY1 said:

10 million vehicles in Bangkok, all the information in the world about hazardous air pollution and it's causes......and what do these dolts do?....they have a meeting to find  out what to do!

The soothsayers that advise these clowns are making a bundle!

Probably the same ones that advise the PM of lucky-this-lucky-that.

 

It's a growth industry in 2019 - then if you do find you have a growth, just visit another specialist soothsayer who will banish it from your body with some holy hydrochloric acid water.

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What is needed are air filters for motorcycle exhaust pipes made with carbon to filter out some of the harmful

particles of pm2.5

 

This will start helping the situation if you make it mandatory for all new bikes

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Just now, realenglish1 said:

What is needed are air filters for motorcycle exhaust pipes made with carbon to filter out some of the harmful

particles of pm2.5

This will start helping the situation if you make it mandatory for all new bikes

True, but I'd assume that would need some occasional maintenance/replacement of the filter?

I think that constitutes 'falling at the first hurdle' unfortunately.

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Checking exhaust fumes from diesel-powered vehicles will not help anything, as long as they are just fined and still allowed on the road!  The numerous old busses, trucks, pick-ups and many old motorbikes should be completely retired.

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1 hour ago, realenglish1 said:

Everyone is ignoring motorcycles one of the worst polluters there is

https://www.greencarreports.com/news/1067907_motorcycles-are-more-polluting-than-cars-new-device-shows

 

Thailand doesn't have to worry then, there are hardly any motorcycles anywhere because nearly everyone drives scooters lol

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Cars busses and trucks may produce a large amount of pollution in Bangkok, but elsewhere, burning rubbish, branches instead of composting, and sugar cane and rice stubble is common and could easily be stopped.

And the only pollution measuring station in the northwest is in Khon Kean, well away from the centre of the north west area.

 

 

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2 hours ago, realenglish1 said:

What is needed are air filters for motorcycle exhaust pipes made with carbon to filter out some of the harmful

particles of pm2.5

 

This will start helping the situation if you make it mandatory for all new bikes

although there are emission regulations in Thailand again it is lack of enforcement that is the problem - how many of the busses lorries cars motorbikes would pass strict emissions tests ?, in the UK 70% of them would be off the road, the cause of this pollution is obvious and so is the solution to reducing it and yet just like the road carnage - it remains unchecked

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'Please don't be worried.'  What rot.  More useless talk, talk, talk in do-nothing meetings.  We may need to do this.  Blah, blah, blah. We may need to do that.  Blah, blah, blah.  But, rest assured, we won't do anything.  Drove to Bangkok today on the motorway from Pattaya and it looked like we were driving through a bad forest fire.  Numerous fires burning in the distance on both sides of the road--and one right next to the road--a good part of the way.  Business as usual.  

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5 hours ago, Xonax said:

Checking exhaust fumes from diesel-powered vehicles will not help anything, as long as they are just fined and still allowed on the road!  The numerous old busses, trucks, pick-ups and many old motorbikes should be completely retired.

Taxis are only allowed to operate for so many years so why should there not be a similar rule for buses and trucks ?  Living in Silom I take particular note of the old red buses with Hino diesels which spew black smoke from their exhausts. As long as these buses are on the road we will know that the government is not serious. I think that one reason the election date was delayed is the hope that this problem will not be so bad when it’s time for people to vote.

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