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Date of Award

12-7-2003

Author's School

School of Law

Degree Name

Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD)

Degree Type

Dissertation

Abstract

Thailand's industrial air pollution control is in an immediate need for change. Despite increasing concerns among the population on the depreciating air quality, current legislations, monitoring system and enforcement mechanism have proven yet to be effective. This study explores the feasibility of strengthening Thailand's air pollution laws by applying the United States Clean Air Act and market-based incentives.

The study begins with a review of Thailand's current environmental institutions, including the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, the Ministry of Industry, and the Ministry of Public Health, and environmental legislations, such as the Enhancement and Conservation of National Environmental Quality Act and the Factory Act. It next moves to an overview of the United States' pollution control, showing that the U.S. used the command-and-control approach as a foundation, including National Ambient Air Quality Standards, State Implementation Plan, New Source Performance Standards, New Source Review, Operating Permit, and enforcement mechanisms, but later shifted to the use of market-based incentives especially tradable permit system to address air pollution issues. Then the study explores the feasibility of transplanting a Clean Air Act style law to Thailand and considers what combination of command-and-control and market-based incentive approaches would be most appropriate.

After the review, a three-stage proposal is advocated as a mechanism to achieve Thailand's clean air goal. In Stage I, Thailand would begin the process of regulatory reform by enacting an Air Pollution Control Act (APCA) which puts all regulations and requirements dealing with air pollution into one comprehensive law. In State Ii, a market-based incentive approach can be introduced by launching an emission charge and reduction deposit refund system in order to use price as an incentive. Finally, this dissertation gives a possible example of applying this proposal in Map Ta Phut, the heaviest industrial estate in Thailand.

The study concludes that although problems such as corruption and administrative overlap exist, a combination of command-and-control and market-based-incentive approaches would be successful in reducing air pollution and not jeopardizing economic growth. The proposal should make an effective strategy for Thailand to address air pollution problems with limited financial resources.

Chair and Committee

Drobak, John N., Supervising Professor; Lipeles, Maxine I., Supervising Professor; Lipeles, Maxine I., Examining Professor.

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