Pong factory’s paint-spraying days numbered

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District Chief Naris Niramaiwong leads a team to inspect the offending paint factory.
District Chief Naris Niramaiwong leads a team to inspect the offending paint factory.

Pong residents suffering ill effects from paint fumes at an auto parts factory soon will get relief. The only question is whether anyone will be arrested for it.

Banglamung District Chief Naris Niramaiwong met with sub-district, environmental and military officials May 25 to discuss the lingering problem with Supawuth Industry Co. in Pong’s Moo 8 village.

Residents of Pong sub-district are relieved to see the district chief take matters into his own hands.
Residents of Pong sub-district are relieved to see the district chief take matters into his own hands.

Pong’s mayor explained that the sub-district has warned the company several times about excessive paint fumes affecting neighboring Samnuk Tabak village, but the company has refused to take action to reduce its environmental impact.

Backed by the army, Pong and Banglamung officials say they now have the power to stop the pollution, one way or another.

Air samples recently were taken and if the chemical concentration exceeds safe levels, the paint-spraying business will be shut down and company officials arrested.

But even if the air quality is found to be within legally safe limits, the sub-district plans to use the Public Health Act to charge the firm with causing a public nuisance, forcing it to reduce the fumes or stop paint spraying.

Test results are due in early June.

Seeing their fate being decided, Supawuth executives suddenly became more cooperative and have begun dispatching employees to monitor air quality in the neighboring village for three hours a day.