Smelting factory raided for noise pollution in Sa Kaeo

A soldier surveys a pile of scrap metal at a waste smelting factory in Sa Kaeo’s Muang district on Thursday. Local residents have complained about the excessive noise. (Photo by Sawat Ketngam)

SA KAEO – A metal-waste smelting factory in Muang district has been raided by authorities following complaints by nearby residents about excessive noise and illegal storage of hazardous materials.

The factory, run by AB Steel Co, was raided on Thursday by public health, pollution control and district officials, supported by soldiers from the Internal Security Operations Command (Isoc) and Burapha Force.

Company management invited them in for talks behind closed doors, which lasted more than two hours. 

Lt Gen Chainarong Klaewkla, chief of the Isoc’s Cooperation Centre 4, later took reporters to see material waiting to be smelted and hot-rolled at the plant. There was a large pile of metal scrap and computer parts.

During the inspection, the grinding was found to cause excessive noise and dust. Lt Gen Chainarong instructed the firm to solve the noise and dust problems. 

Sompong Panduang, 53, who lives near the factory, said the facility operates at night and the loud noise could be heard as far as 2 kilometres away.  

The factory had been operating for two months.  

Residents will  watch closely to determine whether the factory is also causing other environmental problems, such as wastewater, Mr Sompong said. 

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