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close this bookConducting Environmental Impact Assessment in Developing Countries (United Nations University, 1999, 375 p.)
close this folder10. Case studies to illustrate environmental impact assessment studies
View the documentCase study 10.1 Tongonan Geothermal Power Plant, Leyte, Philippines
View the documentCase study 10.2 Accelerated Mahaweli Development Programme
View the documentCase study 10.3 Tin Smelter Project in Thailand
View the documentCase study 10.4 Thai National Fertilizer Corporation Project
View the documentCase study 10.5 Map Ta Phut Port Project
View the documentCase study 10.6 EIA at Work: A Hydroelectric Project in Indonesia
View the documentCase study 10.7 The Greater Cairo Wastewater Project

Case study 10.5 Map Ta Phut Port Project

Note: This case study can be used to generate an impact network diagram.

Name of the project: Environmental impact statement of Map Ta Phut Port Project, by Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand, August 1985.

Type of environmental analysis: EIS.

Type of project: This is the development of a commercial port or multi-user zone. Within this area, the following will be established: a port operations centre, bulk commodity storage areas and berths, general cargo storage facilities, and bulk liquid berths. Marginal reclamation along the shoreline will also be incorporated.

The site of the Map Ta Phut port was fixed during the earlier feasibility study (JICA 1983) relating to the establishment of a major heavy industry and residential zone in Rayong province. Concerning berth requirements, construction of Map Ta Phut port is intended to proceed in phases to provide facilities supporting progressive growth in industries adjacent to the site. Thus three development stages are considered.

(a) Short-term development: required before 1992 for loading raw and finished products of NFC, MPC, etc.

(b) Interim operations: specialized facilities for handling hazardous flammable liquids.

(c) Interim operations: specialized facilities for handling hazardous flammable liquids.

Table 10.4 Work force - port personnel



General cargo berth



Liquids berth






Customs & immigration



Port administration



IEAT personnel



Harbour operation - marine



Harbour operations - engineering & administration



Other facilities - gatehouse, weighbridge, fire, medical, canteen, etc.





The port will have all the basic facilities as following: (1) harbour craft requirements - tugs, pilot launches, work boats, buoy maintenance; (2) road and rail; (3) work force (see Table 10.4); (4) water supply, drainage, and wastewater collection and treatment; (5) solid waste management; (6) emergency services; (7) power supply; (8) port traffic; and (9) cargo handling and storage.

Project location

The Map Ta Phut port project is located in Rayong province in the eastern seaboard area and the site is exposed to the Gulf of Thailand.

Reports on pertinent studies

See References 2 and 3, page 329.

Environmental study area

The port will occupy approximately 2 to 8 km of shoreline and an offshore area within the break of about 4.75 km. The dredged shipping channel will extend to approximately 4 to 5 km from shore. For the purposes of the EIS the port has been defined to include all offshore works, the commercial port area, and the berths and loading/unloading areas for specific uses (tapioca, fertilizer, raw materials, and products).

EIA team

Not provided with the report.

EIA budget adequacy

Not provided with the report.


The methodology basically follows the procedure laid down by the National Environment Board. First of all an initial environmental examination was made in January 1985, for which comments were received from IEAT and the National Environment Board, after which this EIS report was made. The EIS follows an "item to item'' impact description.

Existing environmental conditions

See the relevant section from Case Study 10.4, pages 307-310.

Environmental effects from the project

The network of potential impacts of the proposed port is divided into main parts: (i) the construction phase and (ii) the operational phase.

Adverse impacts: aquatic

Dredging and reclamation will result in formation of plumes of suspended sediment around the dredgers, reclamation outfalls, and dumping ground. The coastal waters at Map Ta Phut are at present unpolluted and have low levels of suspended sediments.

Small areas (at most 3.5 km2 mostly about 0.5 km2) will be affected sufficiently by increased turbidity and deposited sediments to affect marine biota and productivity, in some cases causing total loss of photosynthetic activity. This will necessarily have further implications in the food chain of the coastal environment. The impact in the context of biotic and fishery resources of the Eastern Seaboard is not considered to be significant, although local fishermen will be forced to fish elsewhere. There is little inshore fishing activity at Map Ta Phut compared with elsewhere along the coast and the coastal waters are not considered to be a significant spawning or nursery areas compared with waters further to the east.

Disturbed sediments will have a more significant impact on recreational resources at the Sai Thong beach resort just to the east of the port site, reducing the quality of inshore waters for contact and non-contact recreation during the construction period.

Disturbed sediments will also damage the remaining corals on the islands of Ko Saket, but these have been evaluated as low in significance as an ecological or touristic resource in comparison with other colonies occurring along the Rayong coastline.

The sediments that will be released have been tested to determine their polluting potential. It is concluded that the sediments are unpolluted and that the potential for uptake of dissolved oxygen or release of nutrients affecting biological productivity is negligible.

Maintenance dredging during operations will not have significant impacts on the marine environment.

Other sources of water pollution in the area at present are tapioca-processing plants and communities. These result in poor quality in streams flowing through the area (high BOD and low dissolved oxygen) but there is no evidence of their having adverse effects on coastal water quality. Monitoring of coastal waters and sediments indicate that the marine environment is largely unaffected by land-based sources of pollution.

Sources of water pollution include: run-off during construction and quarrying; sanitary wastewater during construction and operation, including shipboard wastes; and oily wastewater and tank washings.

The impacts from run-off, sanitary, and oily wastewater will not be significant in relation to other sources which will occur as the area develops, provided appropriate measures are taken to collect, treat, and dispose of wastewater.

Quarrying and transport of quarried materials also have the potential for water pollution by dust, but this is not expected to be significant at any of the proposed sites.

Construction of the port could affect dispersion of effluents from the proposed outfall from the National Fertilizer Corporation's plant on the industrial estate. This impact has been evaluated and the impact is not considered to be significant.

Adverse impacts: atmospheric

Sources of air emissions during construction will include: dust from traffic, site clearing, and construction activity; emissions from vehicles bringing materials to the site and from construction equipment; emissions from burning of waste materials; and dust from quarrying.

These emissions are expected to result in degradation of air quality, primarily in the working environment affecting construction employees. Dust and other emissions from on-site are unlikely to spread sufficiently to affect homes and other properties around the site.

Dust and emissions from vehicles carrying materials, particularly quarried rock and aggregate to and from the site, are expected to generate dust nuisance in communities along their routes. This will only be significant if the Khao Bandai Krit East site is selected as the routes from other sites do not pass close to communities.

Dust from quarrying itself will affect communities and farm fields in the immediate vicinity of sites. It will be significant at Khao Bandai Krit East and Khao Noen Krapok where it will affect cassava fields and orchards adjacent to the quarry sites. There are no houses within 500 m of any sites, except for worker housing at Khao Chi Chan. Dust will be generated within the quarry working areas and measures will need to be taken to protect workers.

The existing air quality at the site is high and there are no major sources of air emissions. Development of the industrial estate will inevitably change this situation. Emissions and resulting air quality resulting from ships using the port and other port activities have been predicted. Emissions from the port are unlikely to cause significant deterioration in air quality compared with NEB standards.

Dusty cargoes present risks to workers on site and to people and property from dust nuisance generated during handling and dust explosion hazards.

Handling tapioca is likely to be the greatest source of nuisance in surrounding communities, although there may be some visual impact, as is evidenced from tapioca-handling facilities elsewhere on the Inner Gulf.

Adverse impacts: noise and vibration

The noise environment at Map Ta Phut is typical of a quiet rural area. There are no significant sources of noise in the area at present. Sources of noise during construction and operation will include: construction equipment and activity; vehicles; cargo handling equipment; and ship and port PA systems and sirens.

The working environment will be subject to significant noise levels and measures will be required to ensure that Labour Department standards for occupational noise levels are met.

After development of the industrial estate, the numbers of people living close enough to the site to be affected by noise from port operations will be very small and this impact is not considered to be significant.

Adverse impacts: land and other resources

The coastal strip which will be affected by development of the port and the associated industrial estate is low lying. About 40 per cent of the area is used for farming - growing orchard fruits, coconut, cassava, and other crops. There are 5 houses and several groups of fisherman's huts along the shoreline. There is also a picnic area. Two houses and one group of fishing huts are actually within the area to be occupied by the port.

Outside the boundaries there are numerous shelters and huts, a private resort area, and 1.5 km to the east a small beach resort (Sai Thong) with a capacity of about 150 persons.

All properties and land uses within the site boundaries will be lost, but the impact of the port in isolation from that of the industrial estate will be compensated. Fishermen using the shoreline are mostly not land owners and will not therefore be entitled to compensation. Many of them have moved to the area within recent years to avoid overcrowding elsewhere.

Construction of the port will change patterns of littoral sediment drift causing build up to the west of the port and erosion to the east. This would have a significant impact on the beach at Sai Thong unless provisions can be made to replace the eroded material.

The port development will place only a small demand on water and power supplies and the transportation network compared with the industrial estate. Its impact is not therefore considered to be significant.

Black sand mining for extraction of tin has been carried out on a small scale along the foreshore at Map Ta Phut. Access to the resource will necessarily be foreclosed by port construction.

The value of these resources has never been estimated but the fact that no mining has been undertaken in recent years suggests that the resource is not of major commercial significance.

The potential impact on Sai Thong beach resort was noted above. The island of Ko Samet is also being developed for tourism. The port is unlikely to reduce the level of use of these facilities, it may in fact increase it; but it is likely to change the visitor population from non-local visitors to visitors associated with the port and industrial estate workforce and supporting populations. The area is not considered to be of regional or national significance for tourism.

Adverse impacts: visual impacts

The port and industrial estate development will have a major impact on the immediate visual environment, replacing an undeveloped coastline with large industrial buildings, cranes, warehouses, and other structures.

The main impact will be on those people living adjacent to the site or using the island of Ko Samet for recreation. The horizon is close owing to the low-lying wooded terrain and the port is not expected to be visible from the resort buildings at Sai Thong but the eastern reclamation will be visible from the beach. Until such time as major structures are built on the eastern reclamation, the port is unlikely to be obtrusive from the beach. Ships entering and leaving the port may be considered as a positive attraction.

People using Ko Samet will have a clearer view of the commercial port area and the industrial estate. The impact will therefore be much greater.

Adverse impacts: solid waste disposal

Wastes will be generated during construction, by the construction workforce, by the permanent workforce, by cargo handling operations, and from ships discharging in port.

The daily waste generation during operation is estimated to be about 3 tonnes per day. Waste generation during construction and operation is unlikely to cause adverse environmental impacts provided appropriate measures are taken for collection, treatment, and disposal.

Adverse impacts: accidental

Accidents may be caused by incidents on-board ship, fire, explosion, occupational accidents, collision between vessels, and grounding, on the shore or on the gas pipeline to the west of the port.

These accidents may result in loss of life or injury, damage to property, and pollution by spills. The risk has been quantitatively assessed on the basis of presently available data; however, it is our view that the risks are such as to require strict control over shipping movements.

Risks from explosions caused by dusty materials are discussed above (Adverse impacts: atmospheric-page 320). Other risks to people and property may arise from handling of dangerous cargoes: vinyl chloride monomer, hydrocarbon gases, chlorinated hydrocarbons, caustic soda. Details of hazardous cargoes to be handled at the port are not available, but if such cargoes are to be transhipped, the appropriate preventive measures and emergency provisions should be established.

Adverse impacts: socio-economic and public health impact

Development of the port and industrial estate will have a very major impact on local socio-economic conditions, changing the area from a rural area with low population density and relatively low income, to an industrialized area with a large new population and opportunities for significant creation of wealth.

The impact of the port alone is unlikely to be significant in isolation from the complete development, as the port workforce will be 900-1,000 compared with an estimated total of over 15,000 for the industrial estate. This could lead to an induced population increase of as much as 70,000 by the time the estate is fully developed. A new town will be built to house the majority of this population and a separate EIS is being prepared for this development.

Two houses and a group of fishing huts lie within the port boundary and will be demolished in the early stage of construction. Several other properties lie within the industrial estate boundary. At present it seems that the affected families and fishermen are not aware of the proposed development and are making no plans to relocate.

The main employment sectors that will be affected by the port development are inshore fishing and tourism. The number of families relying on fishing for part or all of their income is believed to be about 20. 70 crab and shrimp nets are in operation in waters adjacent to the port and there are several squid fishing boats. Incomes of these families vary from season to season very substantially, but are generally low compared with industrial and agricultural workers.

It is expected that some fishermen will take up employment associated with the port; others will move elsewhere and provisions may have to be made to facilitate this to avoid family and social problems.

Employment in tourism, at the Sai Thong beach resort and Ko Saket, is expected to increase as a result of the port development. There will also be substantial increases in employment opportunities in sectors servicing the large new population.

It is likely that unless strict controls are exercised, illegal development will occur around the plot boundary, with consequent problems of water supply sanitation, public health, waste disposal, and unsightly development.

Public health impacts may include an increase in communicable disease incidence caused by the influx of workers and foreign sailors and disposal of shipboard waste; an increase in disease through poor sanitation in camps, new housing areas, and squatter settlements; and stress on available medical facilities caused by a large increase in population.

Measures for offsetting adverse effects

Aquatic impacts

The following mitigation measures have been proposed for dredging and reclamation. Construction of the western breakwater and silt basin should be a priority to minimize sediment release from the reclamation. Reclamation of the eastern area should be as far as practicable, awaiting construction of the eastern revetment, to minimize impacts on the Sai Thong beach resort. The eastern reclamation should be drained into the port, not outside the eastern revetment, to minimize impacts at Sai Thong. Best practicable technology and operating methods should be used to minimize sediment release from dredging and barge loading. All operations should be properly supervised and a regular programme of equipment maintenance carried out. Overspill from loading barges should be kept to a minimum, consistent with achieving an economically viable load, while loading barges should be regularly checked and maintained to prevent leakage from bottom seals. Spoil should be dumped only within specified boundaries and a pattern of dumping should be adopted to minimize repeated dumping in exactly the same spot. These same general conditions should also apply to maintenance dredging where relevant. It is not considered that further physical measures to control fine sediment release are necessary.

The following monitoring measures are proposed. Bottom conditions should be inspected and recorded by divers at intervals before and during construction and operation and if possible a photographic record kept. Turbidity in waters at Sai Thong should be measured at monthly intervals over the construction period to monitor aesthetic and water quality impact on recreation. Dissolved oxygen, ammoniacal nitrogen, and other nutrients should be measured at intervals during construction to determine whether water quality changes have occurred as a result of dredging. Records should be kept of any evidence of algal blooms and of the conditions under which they have occurred. If it can be arranged, a serial photographic record of sediment plumes around dredgers, barges, reclamation drains, and dumping sites should be made, principally for reference in assessment of similar developments in the future.

Mitigation measures for other impacts on water quality. Temporary bunds should be constructed to contain surface run-off from the land sites. Collected run-off should be passed through retention ponds to collect suspended solids, before discharge. A treatment system should be provided at the construction camp. This should be either a package plant or septic tank. Consideration should be given to two possible alternatives for treatment of sanitary wastewater during port operations: either an anaerobic pond followed by facultative and polishing ponds discharging to a near-shore outfall; or an anaerobic pond discharging to an offshore outfall. A conventional activated sludge sewage treatment plant is not considered to be appropriate for port operations owing to fluctuations in the volume and quality of loads. Sanitary effluents should not be discharged into the harbour itself. There may be some merit in providing a combined outfall with NFC, provided construction can be scheduled appropriately for both developments and operational arrangements organized. All sanitary provisions should be in accordance with the Memorandum on Guidelines for Incorporating Sanitation Parameters into Planning Design of Ports and Harbours in Developing Countries including Thailand. Oily wastewater (from fuel storage tanks, maintenance shops, ship bilgewaters, tank washings) and run-off from dirty areas of the port (vehicle marshalling, parking, and fuel storage areas) should all be collected and passed to an oil-water separator before discharge. Oily run-off may be returned to the stormwater system after treatment. Reception facilities for oily wastes from ships should be provided and their use enforced by monitoring and penalties for oily discharges in or approaching the port.

Regular monitoring of water quality should be carried out within the port and in adjacent waters during operation, to identify adverse environmental changes.

Atmospheric impacts

Mitigation for general emissions. Good housekeeping practices should be adopted to control dust from construction operations, quarrying, and transport of quarried materials. These may include periodic water spraying dusty areas and shielding of dusty areas, maintenance of road surfaces, ventilation of enclosed areas, cleaning of equipment and vehicles as well as adoption of proper operating methods. Unpaved access roads which may lead to dust problems in communities should be paved. Burning of waste materials should be avoided.

Occasional monitoring of air quality should be carried out by the appropriate government agencies in Map Ta Phut village, Sai Thong, and the new town, and in the working environment of the port.

General housekeeping measures to control dust emissions as described above, should be adopted when handling dusty cargoes. Recommendations on handling dusty cargoes to minimize dust nuisance in the occupational and external environment and to reduce the risk of explosion, should be adopted, and laid down by the Port Authority as conditions for private operators. Occasional monitoring should be carried out by the Port Authority to determine dust levels in the occupational environment within the port.


Noise specifications for construction equipment should be laid down in contracts for construction work in accordance with Labour Department standards for the occupational environment.

Occasional measurements of sound levels in the occupational and external environment should be made to monitor noise. Records of complaints should be kept.

Land and other resources

Mitigation measures. Compensation will be provided for land owners as required by existing schemes. Several fishermen who have no legal status will be displaced and consideration may be given to giving them financial and other assistance in finding alternative employment or alternative locations at which to keep their boats and equipment. Strict boundary regulations should be enforced to prevent overspill of activities beyond the port and industrial estate and to prevent illegal squatter settlement. The boundary should be securely fenced and regularly inspected. A programme of excavation of sand accumulated on the west side of the port and transported to the Sai Thong beach should be adopted, to mitigate the adverse effects of erosion at Sai Thong and provide an improved beach resource.

It would be useful to monitor use of the Sai Thong beach resort, if the owners agreement can be obtained, to provide information on the implications of this type of development for coastal recreation.

No special provisions are considered to be necessary with regard to power, water and other resources.

Visual impacts

Special measures to mitigate visual impacts at Map Ta Phut are not considered to be necessary. However, normal standards of good design and maintenance should be adopted to avoid visual clutter caused by port structures and equipment.

Solid waste management

Contractors should be required to make proper arrangements for disposal of wastes arising during the construction period. Dumping on the foreshore or in the sea and burning of waste should not be permitted. Dumping of wastes from ships approaching the port or into the harbour should be prohibited by harbour regulations. Provisions should be made for reception of shipboard wastes and for their safe disposal if any risk is presented to public health. Arrangements should be made with the Municipality for collection and proper disposal of solid wastes. Charges may be levied on private operators and ships generating waste for disposal.

Accidental impacts

Port approaches and operations should be regulated in accordance with international navigational standards regarding pilotage, anchorage, ship movements, etc. A prohibited anchorage should be defined within 1 km of the gas pipeline and established by international agreement. Local regulations should be issued prohibiting passage of deep draft vessels in the vicinity of the gas pipeline in waters less than 15 m deep. Handling of hazardous cargoes should be subject to approval by the Port Authority. When application for such approval is made, information should be required to enable an evaluation of the risk and the adequacy of the preventive and emergency provisions to be made. International standards on handling of dangerous cargoes should be adopted. A first aid unit, properly equipped, staffed, and trained, should be established by the Port Authority. An emergency response system should be developed in cooperation with local fire, police, and medical services, and regular exercises should be carried out to test preparedness. Port workers should be regularly informed and trained in safe working methods and emergency procedures.

Socio-economic and public health impacts

A programme of actively informing residents of the port area about the proposed development should be undertaken as soon as the decision to proceed has been taken. This will enable the population to make plans in reasonable time for relocation, new employment, schooling, etc. An orderly relocation of population would be in the interests of preventing illegal settlement. Some residents may benefit from assistance (financial or other) in relocation where they are not entitled to compensation.

To minimize public health impacts: arrangements for quarantine of vessels should be made in accordance with international practice; temporary and permanent workers should receive medical examinations and necessary treatment before starting work; facilities for first aid should be provided at the construction site and camp, and in the port; and proper sanitation should be provided during construction and operation to minimize the spread of disease.

General recommendations

Necessary conditions to achieve mitigation of impacts during construction should be stipulated in contracts for construction work and site policing: inspection should be carried out. Where activities not under the direct control of the Port Authority are to be carried out (e.g., transfer of hazardous materials from tank storage to the industrial estate), all operating methods and equipment should be subject to evaluation and approval by the Port Authority. An environmental control division (or officer) should be appointed for Map Ta Phut Port. The duties of this division should include: evaluation and approval of activities occurring in the port not under the direct control of the Port Authority; maintenance of the water supply and wastewater treatment system; collection and disposal of wastes from ships and onshore; monitoring and enforcing pollution prevention regulations affecting vessels; and carrying out regular monitoring to identify adverse environmental changes caused by pollution. The model proposed by Poston may be used as a guideline for establishing the environmental control division.

Harbour regulations should be drafted to control: discharge of liquid or solid wastes from ships approaching or moored in the port; use of reception facilities for sanitary wastewater, oily wastes, and solid wastes from ships; conditions of operation for handling dusty cargoes to minimize nuisance in the occupational and external environment and the risk of explosions; piloting, anchorage, ship movements, cargo handling; information to be provided by vessels approaching the port; conditions of approval for handling hazardous cargoes to minimize risks of fire, explosion, toxic release, or other hazard.

Environmental monitoring

The required monitoring programme for each impact has already been described, along with the mitigation measures for the convenience of a continuity of the explanation.

Concluding remarks

The EIS report is prepared in fulfilment of the requirements for preparation of an EIA of the Map Ta Phut Port Project. This study addresses the environmental impacts of the port alone; however, the overall development of the area comprises an industrial estate, an urban area, and associated infrastructure and services as well as the port.

The EIS report lacks a number of items found in formal presentation, such as the environmental base map, beneficial impacts from the project, the professionals or EIA team involved in the study, etc. Without these, the EIS really looks a bit handicapped and poses problems to the researchers. The organization of the report is not sequential and looks poor. But the analytical work is envisaged to depth, and thus the technical work is appreciable. This is one of the very few EIA case studies regarding the port development done in the region.


1 Manual of NEB Guidelines for Preparation of Environmental Impact Evaluations, National Environment Board (NEB), Bangkok, April 1979.

2 R. J. Hofer, Water Quality Management Plan for the Raoyong Map Ta Phut Development Planning Areas, Office of National Environment Board.

3 JICA, The Study on the Development of the Industrial Port on the Eastern Seaboard in the Kingdom of Thailand, Final Report, 1983.

Source: Strengthening Environmental Cooperation with Developing Countries, pp. 100-128.