Agencies, officials sued in landfill fire

SAMUT PRAKAN – Locals affected by pollution from two toxic garbage dump fires in tambon Phraeksa in Muang district on Wednesday sued seven state agencies and officials for failure, negligence and delay in performing their duty to handle the fires and illegal dumping of hazardous waste.

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Samnuan Prapin of the Lawyers Council of Thailand's environmental committee filed the lawsuits with the Central Administrative Court on behalf of 165 affected residents. 

The suits targeted the chief of Phraeksa Tambon Administrative Organisation (TAO), Samut Prakan public health office, the provincial industrial office, the Samut Prakan governor, Pollution Control Department, Industrial Works Department and the National Environment Board (NEB).

The complainants asked the court to issue orders requiring the seven agencies and officials to establish more effective operating procedures to reduce and eradicate household and industrial waste in the province; prosecute illegal waste dumping offenders; and use a scientific approach to extinguishing fires to ensure they do not start again.

The group also demanded the Pollution Control Department clean up soil and groundwater contamination in and near the Phraeksa landfill.  

Mr Samnuan said the suits also asked the court to hold an urgent hearing to issue temporary protection measures for members of the Phraeksa communities.

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