Sattahip Permanent Secretary Pikul Sopa and Plutaluang Deputy Mayor Wisanu Tosombut led the Aug. 29 protest against Everfrank Technology Co. Among the 100 attendees were representatives from the Industry Ministry, Chonburi Public Health Department, and Plutaluang Public Health Services Office.
Plutaluang residents and officials meet to protest a Chinese-owned oil-reprocessing facility, citing unpleasant odors and suspicions that foreigners were polluting the Thai countryside.
Everfrank separates petroleum products, produces mixed and base oil, and wood paint oil recycled from used petroleum. It is owned by Chinese nationals Pang Wang Teng and Pang Chee.
Residents complained about the smell of burning oil and claimed the factory was polluting the air and nearby water, although they produced no evidence to back their allegations. Nevertheless, they demanded the Chinese shut down and move out of their neighborhood.
Wisanu claimed the factory does not meet legal standards and has caused neighbors to suffer from allergies. He also claimed neighbors have been unable to use the water supply for a year.
The Chonburi Public Health Department cited the factory in April for nine code breaches, including leaking machines, non-sealed tanks, non-standard filters, standing oil pools and soiled sand, a lack of barrier walls around tanks, and hauling waste without a permit.
The health officials also ordered the factory to remove drainage pipes leading to public canals and install a water-management system, as well as install emission sensors on smokestacks.
The issues were supposed to have been corrected by May 30, but the factory owners allegedly have not complied.
Industry Ministry representative Chaiya Maethakul also claimed the factory was not up to standards and that the Chinese owners have been charged with importing machinery without permits and would be ordered to close.
The two owners listened to the protestors complaints, but were non committal on when they’d enact any changes or if they’d shut down.