New Types of Projects That Required Submission of EIA and EHIA

The introduction of new types of projects that require the submission of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Environment and Health Impact Assessment (EHIA) reports will take place.

Under current regulations, projects, undertakings or operations (referred to as “Projects”) that meet the criteria outlined in the Enhancement and Conservation of National Environmental Quality Act B.E. 2535 (1992) and its subordinate regulations must prepare and submit an EIA and/or EHIA report to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MNRE).

calculator and pen on table

To update the criteria for projects that require the preparation and submission of EIA and/or EHIA reports, the MNRE has released a draft version of the modified MNRE Notification. This draft includes (1) criteria for projects, businesses, or operations that must conduct an EIA report, as well as principles, measures, and conditions for preparing the report (referred to as the “EIA Draft Notification”) and (2) criteria for projects, businesses or operations that may have a significant impact on natural resources, environmental quality, health sanitation and the community’s quality of life. This also includes principles, measures and conditions for preparing the report (referred to as the “EHIA Draft Notification”).

Although the essence and necessary details within the EIA or EHIA report remain largely the same, there are several revisions summarized as follows:

1.EIA Draft Notification

Firstly, the scope of applicability of the EIA Draft Notification has been expanded. It now includes existing projects that were operational before the enactment of the EIA Draft Notification, if there is an expansion of Project or Project details modification falling under the criteria as prescribed, requiring them to prepare a report in accordance with the EIA Draft Notification.

Secondly, certain definitions of projects provided in the previous version of the EIA Notification have been revised. For example, the definition of the “Iron or Steel Industry” has been amended to provide more clarity. The EIA Draft Notification now specifies the type of steel, such as primary steel or intermediate steel, that is smelted or cast.

Another significant revision under the EIA Draft Notification is the introduction of new types of projects that require conducting an EIA. Examples include:

  • Aerodromes or temporary takeoff and landing of aircraft on the water according to air navigation laws.
  • Rail transport system.
  • Land reclamation at sea or Songkhla Lake outside the original coastal line with an area of less than 300 rai except for reclamation for beach rehabilitation.
  • Industrial zone or land allocated for industrial purposes according to the industrial estate law, factory law, or land allocation law.

2.EHIA Draft Notification

Similar to the EIA Draft Notification, the EHIA Draft Notification also includes significant revisions. These revisions involve (1) the scope of applicability, (2) certain definitions of projects (e.g. upstream petrochemical industry, with the revision specifying the use of raw materials from petroleum refining, natural gas and condensate) and (3) the introduction of new types of projects that require conducting an EHIA. Examples of these new types of projects include:

  • Nuclear manufacturing that uses nuclear reactors.
  • Radioactive waste management service facility.

Author: Panisa Suwanmatajarn, Managing Partner.

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Procedure for Waste Disposal to be Changed

The Ministry of Industry has opened a public hearing to gather comments on the draft Announcement regarding Industrial Waste Disposal B.E. …. (“Draft Announcement”). The draft aims to improve the definition of waste terms in Article 5, define characteristic codes and disposal codes in the annex, and make the procedures more straightforward and clearer.

The Draft Announcement specifies the procedures and measures for waste disposal in accordance with the context of factory operations. The Factory Entrepreneur as prescribed by the Ministerial Regulation Re: Determination of the Category, Type and Size of the Factory B.E. 2563 (2020) issued by the virtue of Section 7 of the Factory Act B.E. 2535 (1992) is required to comply with this Draft Announcement.

This Draft Announcement is divided into three main issues for which the Factory Entrepreneur is responsible for the key issues as follows:

  1. Waste Generator: A factory entrepreneur that generates wastes. The procedures for disposing of waste in the generator is specified. The waste generator is required to submit an annual report on waste collection and disposal by 1 March of each year, using the document form as specified. The transportation of waste out of the factory premise must have permission and a license from the Director-General of Department of Industrial Works and the waste must be managed according to the criteria and procedures prescribed in this Draft Announcement. Additionally, the representative appointed by the generator to transport the waste out of the factory premise shall proceed strictly in accordance with this Draft Announcement. The exemption type of waste that is not required to comply with this Draft Announcement is also specified.
  2. Waste Processor: A person who represents the waste disposal for the waste generator. The processor shall only dispose of permitted waste types, record the waste analysis, and submit it to the waste generator. The processor must use a manifest sheet and report as prescribed by the Director-General of Department of Industrial Works. The Draft Announcement also specifies that “raw material” is waste received for disposal. The processor must manage the waste as specified and collect it in proper condition and safely in an appropriate building. The raw material disposal period is divided into 1. Hazardous raw material (which shall be disposed of within 30 days) and 2. Non-hazardous raw material (which shall be disposed of within 60 days). Additionally, the waste processor is specified for factory types that have additional regulations as prescribed.
  3. Provisional Chapter: The transportation of waste out of factory permission granted before this Draft Announcement becomes effective will be valid under this Draft Announcement.