Overview of the Environmental Impact Assessment in Thailand – Lexology

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In Thailand, each year, there are many projects developed by project developers, both governmental authorities and private entities. Before starting to develop a project, each project developer should not only be aware of commercial factors, but also be aware of the environmental factors of the project. One of the main environmental factors to be considered before starting the construction or operation of a project is the completion of an environmental impact assessment (“EIA“).
The EIA is a study and assessment, with public participation, to (i) forecast both negative and positive environmental effects on nearby environment of a project, and (ii) establish appropriate mitigation measures for those effects. The EIA requirement is to ensure that project developers consider the environmental effects as much as the benefits of a project.
In Thailand, an EIA is regulated by the Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning (the “ONEP”). The requirements, regulations and conditions relating to the EIA are mainly specified under (i) the Enhancement and Conservation of National Environmental Quality Act (the “Environment Act”), and (ii) the Notification of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment on Projects, Undertakings, or Operations Required to Provide an Environmental Impact Assessment Report and Rules, Procedure, and Conditions in Providing an Environmental Impact Assessment Report (the “MNRE Notification”).
The ONEP does not require every project to conduct an EIA. Under the MNRE Notification, only certain projects whose types and sizes are stipulated therein must conduct an EIA, e.g., a hotel with at least 80 rooms or at least 4,000 square meters of utility area, a condominium with at least 80 units or at least 4,000 square meters of utility area and a coal power plant with a capacity of at least 10 MW. This requirement of an EIA is because those projects are likely to have significant effects on their nearby environment.
The EIA must be conducted by a person who obtains a license to conduct the EIA issued by the ONEP (the “EIA Licensee”). The EIA Licensee will conduct the EIA and prepare the EIA report. The EIA report mainly includes the following topics:
Process and Timeline for the Submission of the EIA Report
The process and timeline for the submission of the EIA report for each project is different, depending on the type of project categorized under the Environment Act and the MNRE Notification, which are:
Set out below is a summary of the timing and relevant authorities for the submission for approval of the EIA.

Process of the Cabinet Approval-Required Project

Process and timeline of the Governmental Project and the Private Project

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