Chachoengsao villagers rally against coal-powered project

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/breakingnews/Chachoengsao-villagers-rally-against-coal-powered–30217359.html

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HUNDREDS of villagers from Chachoengsao Thursday rallied at a state environmental agency, demanding that the government not give the go-ahead to a coal-power plant as they believe it would affect their health and mango orchards badly.

They gathered at the Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning (ONEP) and handed over more than 6,000 signatures against the project to ONEP’s deputy secretary-general Noppadol Thiyajai. These signatures were collected via a campaign hosted by Change.org.

The move come after an ONEP environmental expert panel met for a second time to deliberate on the environmental and health impact assessment (EHIA) report of the 600 mega watt-coal power plant in Chachoengsao’s Phanom Sarakham district, which is known for its mango.

The EHIA report was first deliberated upon in July last year and this second round was to be the final one. The power plant would be directly connected to the Klong Tha Lart basin – the biggest tributary of Bang Pa Kong River – that provides water for general consumption and irrigation.

Villagers are worried that the coal-powered plant will affect their health and farms, which they say could suffer from mercury contamination.

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