‘Though the wastewater treatment system is in line with international standards, there is still a lot of room for improvement’, Srisuwan said.

He advised thatl hides should be transported to warehouses in closed trucks and wastewater should be channelled to the central wastewater-treatment plant via a closed system.

Srisuwan vowed to send his recommendations to Industry Minister Chaiwuti Bannawat and Samut Prakan industry chief Banjong Jiarapong. He said he expected to see results in the next 30 days or else he would help affected people seek compensation in court.

Banyong said his office had never ignored the problem, but the foul smell was simply part of the tanning business.

‘All relevant parties should talk to find a way out together’, he said.

Meanwhile, chairperson of the Thai Tanning Industry Association, Pranee Kuruwerukorn, said the association had taken many measures to cut down on pollution in the Bang Pu area.

‘I think locals who have been here for a long time understand us. New residents may not understand that the strong smell only lasts for a short time’, she said, adding that her association’s measures had even won praise from foreign countries.

Pranee insisted that the association would keep trying to ease the pollution problem. ‘We want to make sure the factories and locals can co-exist happily’, she said. There are about 70 tanning factories in the Bang Pu area.

Meanwhile, the Pollution Control Department said it was closely monitoring water quality in Samut Prakan because the quality of the seawater along the coast had been worsening over time and had too much coliform bacteria, phosphate and nitrate.

Source: The Nation