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Nowadays, the environment has been deteriorated by humans’ activities as well as economic and social development, due to lack of long-term resource utilization planning. Low awareness on the essential and value of the environment is also a key factor of that issue. Accordingly, the environmental state should be monitored frequently in order to tackle the problem in time.
Department of Environment is the main organization in managing environment in Bangkok. The responsibility covers studying and researching for solving, promoting and conserving the environment. Various development’s projects have been conducted: urban landscape decoration by flowerers at roadside area and street isles; vertical garden; greenery area expansion by planting big trees and public park development as well as improving vacant area and the area in religious places for public recreation, controlling air and noise quality to meet the standards; and increasing efficiency of waste, hazardous waste and nightsoil collection and disposal with private sectors and public participation. The BMA Executives have given full support on environmental management by setting policies and improvement direction, enhancing capacity building of human resources in sustainable approach with the aim to mobilize BMA to be the great potential organization in managing environment. The ultimate goal is to create Bangkok as a livable city with good environment to improve living condition for the residents.
Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has been managing environment, using Performance Plan of Bangkok as a framework for all Departments and District Offices to apply the Performance Plan of Bangkok into practice by conducting annual action plans to be the working direction to reach the set goals.
BMA established, Bangkok Improvement Plan to be a framework for improving Bangkok in 12 years (2009-2020). The improvement period was divided into three
phases: the first phase 2009-2012, the second phase 2013-2016 and the third phase 2017-2020. The plan focuses on there dimensions:-
- Gateway: Driving Bangkok to be the regional center of economic and social infrastructure development and to be the prototype of public service in megacity level.
- Green: Driving Bangkok to be a pleasant city where residents live in environmentally-friendly condition (Green Bangkok), with self-sufficient economy and transparent urban management system.
- Good life: Driving Bangkok to be a city of happiness and learning society where people have chances to earn and to grow as well as to participate in urban development.
Bangkok will be ‘Sustainable Metropolis’, which means developing Bangkok to be the center of the region and developed to be one of the world’s leading metropolis
with sound environment as well as good and sustainable quality of life.
- Bangkok is the transportation and communication gateway of the region.
- Bangkok is the education, culture and health gateway of the region.
- Bangkok is the research and development, finance, tourism and service gateway of the region.
- Bangkok is the green and lively city.
- Bangkok is the green living, green generation and green society as well as learning and well-being society
- Bangkok is the city of self-sufficient economy and civic opportunities.
- Bangkok is the city of best service and megacity management gateway with good governance by total engagement.
Environmental management with exploration,analysis and research for solving, supporting and conserving the quality of environment.
Increasing green space, urban landscape improvement, and greenery conservation and development.
Air and noise pollution reduction and control by controlling pollution from vehicles and other sources including air quality monitoring support.
Improving efficiency in solid waste, nightsoil and hazardous waste management by promoting waste reduction and separation; improving efficiency in solid waste management using appropriate technology; providing regular service of waste collection and the service of nightsoil transport and disposal.
Energy and renewable energy conservation as well as global warming mitigation.
Implementing other related works as the legal statement of Environment Department’s responsibility or as BMA administrator’s assignment.
BMA established the Performance Plan of Bangkok for the first period (2009-2012). The plan contains the scope of major activities to achieve the ultimate aims
by the end of 2012. It has been applied by all BMA’s departments and district offices as the development direction in their responsible area with setting of annual action plans accordingly. The development scope covered 5 strategies, 27 strategic issues, 113 main strategies and 207 indicators for main strategies.
Strategy 1: Strengthening infrastructure for regional mega-city by using an integrated development approach.
Strategy 2: Developing strong economy and knowledge-based society by developing capacity of the Bangkok Metropolis in knowledge-based economic competitiveness.
Strategy 3: Striving for green Bangkok by developing and sustaining high quality environment, and attractiveness.
Strategy 4: Providing good quality of life in cultural mega-city by promoting the well being and security of people as well as its famous cultural identity.
Strategy 5: Mastering best service and mega-city management to be one of prototypes for Metropolis Administration.
Annual action plans of Environment Department
Environment Department established the annual action plans by applying the Performance Plan of Bangkok 2009-2012 into practice to drive environmental management process towards the goals in 2012 according to the strategy 3, Striving for Green Bangkok, to create good environment and lively mega-city with sustainability.
Environment Department is the key organization on environmental management and energy conservation in order to create Bangkok as a green and clean city with good environment.
The green space is in appropriate ratio with the population number.
The management of solid waste, hazardous waste and nightsoil of BMA is efficient without environmental impacts.
Air and noise quality in Bangkok meet the standard criteria.
All parties in the society take part in environment preservation and energy conservation.
Administration system is transparent and efficient.
Annual action plans of Department of Environment aim to drive Bangkok to be the “Environmental Metropolis’ by applying the strategy 3: Striving for Green
Bangkok into practice.
The strategy 3 comprises 7 strategic issues: which are the target development according to the Performance Plan of Bangkok 2009-2012.
- Providing Efficient Flood Control and Drainage Systems.
- Increasing the Efficiency of water Quality Management.
- Waste Reduction and Recycle.
- Increasing the Efficient of Air and Noise Pollution Control.
- Increasing Green Areas.
- Conservation and Restoration of Mangrove Forestin Bang Khun Thian coast.
- Global Warming Mitigation and Energy Conservation
Environment Department is the Focal Point to cooperate with related organizations for implementation on environment in Bangkok. Main strategies, goals and
indicators for implementation during 2009-2012 were set up for related organizations including Environment Department and district offices.
Air Quality and Noise Management
Nowaday, air and noise pollution problem tends to be more critical it is mostly caused by human activities in industrial and economic development. Air and noise
pollution problem mostly come from the transportation, especially particulate matter, the diameter equal or less than 10 micron or namely PM10, which is the main issue of Bangkok and originated from incomplete combustion reaction of diesel engines and uncovered construction site. Additionally, it was found out from the monitoring measurement of air and noise quality in roadside that the most critical areas having PM10 exceeding standard were Bangnatrat Road, Sukhumwit Road and Rama II Road as presented in Figure 1. The areas having the dust with diameter equal or less than 100 micron or namely Total Suspended Particulate (TSP) over the standard were Sukhumwit Road and Rama III Road as shown in Figure 2. The next critical issues were ozone (O3), nitrogen dioxide gas (NO2) and carbonmonoxide (CO) in 8-hour average which were explored exceeding the standard sometimes. Others air pollutants are sulfur dioxide (SO2) and lead (Pb) which were complied with standard. Air pollution issue is generally severe in cold seasons because the character of stable atmosphere and with high pressure does not support the dispersion of air pollutants. For the noise quality monitoring, it has been found that the noise levels were exceeding standard
at all roadside stations and the highest exceeding were on Sukhumwit Road, Somdet Phra Chao Taksin Road, Nawamin Road and Suksawat Road as shown in below.
BMA Air and Noise Quality Control Strategy
Air quality control
The ambient layer covering the earth is approximately within 150 kilometer-height from the ground level. The air which is close to the earth surface is with higher density than the upper air; the air temperature and pressure vary according to the distance to the ground surface. For the characteristics of dry air, it is approximately composed with 78% of nitrogen, 21% of oxygen and 0.9% of others (i.e. water vapor, dust, chemical compounds and gases) Major Sources of Air Pollution can be classified to 5 groups
- Combustion: It contains 3 parts which are fuel, heat and air. Combustion utilizes various types of fuel. During the incomplete, combustion it usually produces smog, odor and different types of gases.
- Transportation: Vehicles used contain engines, which apply oil-based fuel and contain combustion, create tiny particulate and toxic gases.
- Industrial process: Manufacturing of products or compositions in both small and large scales generally contains combustion causing smog and gas.
- Construction and land development activities: It includes building demolishment, pavement development, soil excavation and trenching, and road sweeping. These lead to dispersion of particulate matters and dust on the street to the air by the materials used (e.g. stone, soil and sand) and activities themselves.
- Waste disposal: The waste disposal in community level, such as open burning, accordingly create odor, smog and toxic gases emitting into the surrounding atmosphere from the combustion and organic decomposition.
Air pollution control and management to be within standards and safety level for the residents’ health does not rely on one measure specifically but acquires the holistic groups of actions, which are air quality monitoring in ambient and public area, pollution auditing and control at sources, law enforcement and public communication to create participation. These are essential for developing good air quality in Bangkok city.
In last year, BMA responsible by Air and Noise Quality Management Division under Environment Department had proceeded many activities in controlling air quality to be within standards.
1. Control and reduce dust particle in public atmosphere The major responsibility of Mobile Unit is monitoring ambient air and niose quality in many parameters particulate matter with the diameter less than 10 micron (PM10), carbonmonoxide gas ( CO), sulfurdioxide (SO2), oxcides of nitrogen (NOx), OZONE (O3), voltile organic compounds in BTEX category (benzene, toluene, ethyl benzene, zylene and 1,3 butadiene). These pollutants are from transportation and fuel buring. Also,
the mobile unit can measure meteorological condition, It’s important for forcasting the affected area from air pollution.
In last year, BMA had selected two monitoring sites to check the air and noise quality in the inner zone of Bangkok. The Former Station is located at Lan Khon Muang, in front of the Bangkok City Hall 1, the latter is located at the General Hospital, on Luang Road. The monitoring period was 15 days for each station. It was
found that the ambient air qualities in both stations were within national standards but the noise levels in 24-hour average were exceeding the standard (70 dBA).
In 2009, 34 rice grinding/rubbing/winnowing mills were inspected. Their locations were mostly in suburban and they generally emitted smog and released dust into the air, causing disturbance to the community. Therefore, the responding actions needed were controlling emission under the standard and raising owners’ awareness. The activities also covered controlling the developers to prevent dust dispersion from construction sites in order to reduce the particle levels in ambient.
Additionally, volatile organic compounds and toxic gases in the atmosphere of the area surrounding On-nut waste disposal site were measured while there were road and office cleaning.
2. Control and reduce dust particle in roadside atmosphere BMA has continuingly acted to reduce dust level in the roadside area. In particular, the frequencies of road washing and vacuuming were increased. Construction area and lorries were forced to cover material to reduce dust dispersion. The lorries’ wheels had to be rinsed before leaving off the sites. Also trees were planted along the roadside area to absorb dust. Those led to better air quality, decreased dust level, cleaner streets; and especially the vertical garden at bus stop area and foundation post area under express ways and BTS not only could absorb dust but aslo reduce carbondioxide (CO2).
3. Increase efficiency of observing and monitoring vehicles that have black smoke level over normal level