16 July 2020 – Eastern local communities filed lawsuit to The Supreme Administrative Court to revoke The Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) land use planning for lacking public participation and failing to protect healthy environment
Due to the implementation of Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) policy and the enactment of Eastern Special Development Zone Act 2018, large area of 3 Eastern provinces including Chonburi, Rayong and Chachoengsao were turned into industrial zone. The Eastern Special Development Zone Policy Committee (“EEC Committee”) has issued The Notification of The Eastern Special Development Zone Policy Committee on the land use planning and the infrastructure and public utilities system planning in The Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) 2019 (“The EEC Land Use Planning Notification”) which regulated the new land use planning that cancel and replace all existing Town Plans in EEC. Many Land Use Plans were converted from agricultural to industrial area or enabled for industrial operation such as hazardous waste disposal plant and power plant which will severely affect people in EEC area and the environment.
The main problems of EEC Land Use Planning Notification are the lack of meaningful public participation in the drafting process and the unconformity with the principles of urban planning and sustainable development. Although many communities in EEC have opposed the drafting process of The EEC Land Use Planning Notification and propose that The EEC Committee should perform Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) prior to the drafting, but the EEC Committee never considered the proposal before issuing the notification.
Therefore, to challenge the legality of this environmental-unfriendly EEC Land Use Planning Notification and protect right to healthy environment, 34 representatives of affected communities from 3 EEC Provinces with support of ENLAWTHAI Foundation (EnLAW) have gathered to file the lawsuit in Supreme Administrative Court against The EEC Committee and The Cabinet of Thailand for issuing and approving The EEC Land Use Planning Notification. The plaintiffs request the Court to withdraw The Notification of The Eastern Special Development Zone Policy Committee on the land use planning and the infrastructure and public utilities system planning in The Eastern Economic Corridor 2019 and set the condition that The EEC Committee and the cabinet must perform Strategic environmental assessment (SEA) of EEC Project and reperform proper public consultation and public participation under the principles of urban planning.
*Affected communities joining the lawsuit included Khao Din Sub-district: Bang Pakong District, Nong Tin Nok Sub-district: Ban Pho District, Khao Hin Son Sub-district: Phanom Sarakham District, Nong Nae
Sub-district: Sanam Chai Khet District Chachoengsao Province/ Klaeng District Rayong Province/ Bang Lamung Sub-district: Bang Lamung District, Thung Sukhla Sub-district: Si Racha District, Phan Thong District Chonburi Province, have gathered together to file the lawsuit.