The New Soil & Groundwater Contamination Assessment Regulation

The New Soil & Groundwater Contamination Assessment Regulation

Press Release: 1st January 2017

The Ministry of Industry, Thailand, enacted the “Ministerial Regulation on Soil and Groundwater Contamination Control in the Factory Area” in April 2016. Under the Regulation certain factories and industrial operations (prescribed operations) are required to conduct soil and groundwater contamination surveys at their facilities on a regular basis and submit a report of the findings in the prescribed format to the Department of Industrial Works (DIW). Article 4 of the Regulation requires new factories whose operations fall within the twelve listed categories to conduct a baseline soil and groundwater contamination survey at the proposed site of the factory before any operations commence. Article 5 of the Regulation requires existing factories which fall within the twelve listed categories to conduct regular soil and groundwater contamination surveys in accordance with the Schedule presented in the Regulation.

On the 29th November 2016, the Ministry of Industry, enacted the “Ministerial Notification on Screening Levels and Investigation of the Contamination in Soil and Groundwater within a Factory” which provides further details on the methodologies for soil and groundwater contamination assessments and the soil and groundwater quality standards against which the testing results will be compared. Existing prescribed operations have 180 days from the enactment of the Notification to conduct soil and groundwater contamination assessments.

In cases where recorded contaminant concentrations exceed the quality standards contained in the Notification the Operator of the factory must propose without delay a procedure to improve the quality of soil and groundwater to meet the quality standards criteria within a reasonable timeframe. Furthermore, the Regulation gives the DIW the authority to determine the timescale for violators to improve soil and groundwater quality, which may be less than the timescale proposed by the Operator of the violating factory.

If a violating factory Operator fails to implement a contamination remediation solution to improve the quality of soil and groundwater within the defined period, the DIW has the authority under the Factory Act (B.E. 2535) to order the Operator of the violating factory to cease all contaminating operations or activities. If an operator does not comply with the Stop Order, the penalties include imprisonment and or significant fines.

In order to meet the requirements of the new soil and groundwater regulatory framework, it is vital that the Operators of affected factories utilise a professional and experienced environmental consultancy company who understands international best practise, the appropriate methods and techniques relating to the assessment and management of contaminated industrial sites and who are familiar with the environmental, health and safety (EHS) risks associated with undertaking contamination surveys on complex industrial sites.

SLP Environmental staff have over 40 years’ combined experience relating to the successful investigation and remediation of contaminated soils and groundwaters. Our senior managers are recognised industry specialists in the field of contaminated site assessment and we have won international industry awards for the quality of our services.

Our contaminated site assessments follow international best practise such as ASTM E1527-13, ASTM E1903-11 and ISO 14015:2001. Our Thailand team has extensive experience in successfully designing, implementing, managing and reporting complex site investigations and ensuring that the execution of the works does not represent a risk to the environment or the health and safety of facility employees.

Quality assurance is the bedrock of any robust site assessment and SLP Environmental only use experienced and approved contractors working under our supervision to undertake on-site intrusive investigation works such as soil boring and groundwater well installation.

SLP Environmental is one of the few consulting companies in Thailand that is fully insured to provide soil and groundwater contamination assessment services and professional advice related to soil and groundwater contamination liability issues.

We can provide our services and reporting in the Thai and English languages thereby satisfying the requirements of the Department of Industrial Works whilst keeping corporate headquarters in the loop with respect to the overall land contamination assessment and management process.