Legislative framework :: Thailand
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Legislative framework : Thailand

Water Pollution Legislation and Responsible Ministers

Legislation Regulated Activities Responsibility Ministries Remarks
Enhancement and Conservation of National Quality Act (NEQP 1992) Regulates specified point sources for wastewater discharges into public water resources, or the environment, based on effluent standards MONRE Amendment to NEQA; key environmental legislation to fill gap; no criminal or civil liability for violation of standards
Factories Act of 1992 Limits level of effluent discharged and restricts concentration levels of chemical and/or metal pollutants MoInd MoInd also promotes industrial development activities which creates conflicts of interest. An amendment to the Act is being drafts to require pollutants to pat for clean-up costs.
Navigation in Thai Waterways Act (Volume 14) as amended in 1992 Prohibits dumping of any refuse including oil and chemicals into rivers, canals, lakes or waterways that may pollute the environment or disrupt navigation in Thai waterways MoTC Many cases have been successfully brought against polluters
Publics Health Act of 1992 Regulates nuisance activities related to water pollution such as odor, chemical fumes, wastewater discharge system of buildings, factories or animal feedlots tht cause harmful health effects MoP Decentralized implementation to LGAs
Cleanliness and Tidiness of the Country Act of 1992 Prohibits dumping of refuse in waterways LAOs Decentralized implementation to LGAs
Canal Maintenance Prohibits dumping or discharging of wastewater in canals MoAC Little used
Building Control Act of 1979 Regulates discharges of water pollution from building MoInt Decentralized implementation to LGAs
Penal Code of 1956 Prohibits adding harmful substances in water resources reserved for consumption OAG Little used
Fisheries Act of 1947 Prohibits dumping or discharging of hazardous chemicals into water resources reserved for fishing MoAC Difficult to prove intention for criminal liability
Royal Irrigation Act of 1942 Prohibits dumping of garbage or discharging polluted water or chemicals into irrigation canals MoAC Limited jurisdiction

Five-Year Plans

Since 1961, the Royal Thai Government (RTG).has developed five-year National Economic and Social Development plans that establish the overall priorities and policy framework for the country’s development. While early plans emphasized economic development through the exploitation of natural re-sources, the 7th Plan (1992-1996) declared the government’s commitment to promoting sustainable economic development that protects the environment. One key objective of the 7th plan was to rehabilitate water quality in the lower reaches of the Chao Phraya and Tha Chin rivers.

The ongoing 8th Plan (1997-2001) continues to emphasize the rehabilitation of natural resources and the environment by strengthening environmental management, and increasing local and community participation. Key principles emphasize good governance through decentralization, public participation in decision-making, increased transparency and accountability, and empowerment of communities. The forthcoming 9th plan (2002-2006) builds on these foundations.

The current 9th Plan (2002-2006) concentrates on concentrates on improving the management, creating a balance between natural resource consumption and preservation, promoting sustainable use of the resources, promoting self-reliance development, raising people’s quality of life and becoming a foundation for development of the country. The Plan is focused on management of natural resource and environment by enhancing participation of all sectors in the society, employing effective, transparent as well as trustworthy regulations, and conducting practical research. In issues related to water quality strategies, the Plan states that the inland water quality of main rivers should not be less than 2 milligram per liter, and the coastal water quality should be restored according to determined national standards.

Twenty-Year Perspective Plan (1997-2016)

Developed by OEPP and approved by the Cabinet, the 20 year Policy and Prospective Plan for Enhancement and Conservation of National Environment Quality (1997-2016) establishes goals, principles, and policies and guidelines for environmental quality management. The Prospective Plan also recognizes the role of local government authorities (LGAs) and NGOs in improving and protecting water quality by increasing awareness and monitoring.

Under this plan, policies for water pollution aim to:

  • Accelerate the rehabilitation of water quality in important water resources;
  • Reduce and control water pollution originating from community activities, agriculture, and industry;
  • Apply the polluter pays principle; and
  • Promote and support private sector investment in solving water pollution problems.

Reference: “Thailand Environment Monitor 2001”, World Bank 2001
“The 9th National Economic and Development Plan”

The Water Pollution Management Plan

=> The Water Pollution Management Plan

Water Quality Standards

Drinking Water Standards

Surface Water Standards

Ground Water Standards

Effluent Standards

Coastal Water Standard

Water Quality for Freshwater Animals

Reference: PCD website (http://www.pcd.go.th)

Other Laws Concerning the Environment

1) Canal Maintenance Act of Ratanakosin Era 121
This Act was provided for canal maintenance and usage. The person who drops garbage into canal or who causes damage to canal will be punished.

2) Internal Water Navigation Act of B.E. 2546
This Act was provided for control of internal water navigation: the14th Amendment of this Acts was introduced in B.E. 2535 (1992). Building construction over public waterway is prohibited except the Harbor Department’s permission, and the ownerof such buildinghas to pay high fees for the said permission. Any person who throws something or causes damage to waterway will be punished.

3) Fishery Act of B.E. 2490
This Act was provided for fishing control and water animal conservation. Any person, who drops toxic substances into fishing resources or use’s electricity or explosive for fishing, will be punished. From the end of 1991, prawn farmer has to register his farm to the fishery official and the prawn farmer who has more than 50 rais for his tarn has to provide wastewater treatment facility not less than 10% total farm area and its BOD not more than 10mg/l.

4) National Executive Council Announcement No. (B.E. 2515)
This Act was provided for land allocation control. The Land Allocation Control Board has power to issue the regulation involving land allocation. Drainage System and wastewater treatment have to be constructed in such land by the applicant for land allocation license under the Regulation involving Land Allocation B.E.2535 dated August 17, 1993.

5) Building Control Act B.E. 2522
This Act was provided for Building control. This Act authorizes the Interior Minister and the local official to issue the Ministerial Regulation and total regulation respectively to control building, construction, alternation, removal, mobilization, and usage. Under the Ministerial Regulation No.3 (B.E.2535) dated February 14, 1993 high rise buildings or special huge building must have drainage system and wastewater treatment system.

6) Bangkok Metropolis Regulation on Drainage Control B.E. 2534
This regulation was provided for drainage from buildings into drainage pipes and public water courses. Building to be constructed must have drainage system and wastewater treatment system.

7) Public Cleanliness and Orderliness Act B.E. 2535
This Act was provided for control of public cleanliness and orderliness in the boundaries of Municipalities, Sanitary Districts, Bangkok Metropolis, and Pattaya City. Any Provincial Administrative Organization will be applied this Act by issuance of Notification of the Ministry or Interior. Any person who drops garbage or takes apiss n public place will be penalized.

8) Public Health Act B.E. 2535
This Act was provided for Public health control such as nuisance dangerous activities to health, and so on. The person who desires to establish market will obtain permission from local official and must have drainage system. This act stipulates the power and duty of local administration to treat night soil and solid waste.

9) Factory Act B.E. 2535
This Act was provided for control of factory establishment and operation. The Minister of Industry has power to issue Ministerial Regulation and Notification to govern any or all types of factory to comply with. This factory owner will show wastewater treatment process which does not cause damage or nuisance to people, and will maintain drainage system in accordance with rules, procedures, and conditions as specified in the Ministerial Regulations and Notifications, Architect. Engineer, or responsible person who works in the factory which performed illegally may be liable in civil and criminal case, and his professional license may be withdrawn.

10) Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand Act B.E. 2522
This Act under the Ministry of Industry address the issue of Industrial waste treatment in area designated as industrial estates. The approach taken is to establish centralized treatment plants individual estates. This Act entrusts the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (IEAT) with exclusive jurisdiction over the business activities of all of its industrial estates, and empowers the IEAT.

  • To establish drainage systems and wastewater treatment plants, and
  • To change service fees.

11) National Environmental Quality Act B.E. 2535
This Act was provided for environment quality control and promotion including support of people participation in maintenance of environmental quality. This Act specifies the powers and duties of National Environment Board, Pollution Control Committee, and Environmental Fund Committee, involving control, prevention, and solution of power pollution.

12) Others
In addition to the laws mentioned above, there are many laws directly involves with the control, prevention and solution of water pollution; such as Civil and Commercial Code, Disease Act of B.E.2477. Private Irrigation Act of B.E. 2482. Royal Irrigation Act of B.E.2485, Animal Disease Act of B.E. 2499, Penal Code, Animal Food Quality Control Act of B.E.2505, Petroleum Act of B.E.2514, Fertilizer Act of B.E.2518, City Planning Act of B.E.2518 and Toxic Material Act B.E.2535.

Reference: “Country Report for Environmental Management Seminar (Asian Countries)” (Osaka International Centre, Japan International Cooperation Agency, FY 2000)