With regards to residential and commercial investors, it seems that most overlook the risks or indeed the liability caused by landfill sites in Phuket. The province of Saphan Hin is now at breaking point as the licensed landfill is increasing daily threatening nearby mangroes and agricultural land. In most due diligence reports, and indeed environmental reports, it seems that landfills are not taken seriously. Investors that buy land on or near a landfill site will be liable if the toxic waste escapes and enters adjoining land. Most adjoining land owners who have suffered serious harm to their health or indeed there land, crops, cattle, fish etc can bring a civil and even a criminal claim against the owner of the site in question.

Landfill sites and indeed land contamination is nothing new, the United Kingdom for instance brought in the Environmental Act 1990 and further directives have been introduced into UK law from the EU to tackle the problem of land contamination and major environmental issues affecting land, and surrounding residential properties. Thailand is no exception, and it now seems that Phuket is now starting to take notice of the continuing problem with problematic landfill sites in the Phuket area. According to the Phuket Gazette article dated the 20th August 2009, millions of farmed fish was killed in 2007 when heavy rain caused a highly toxic plume of water from plastic-lined leaching ponds to enter surrounding mangroes and waterways.

In essence any investor looking to simply buy a residential property, land, or even a commercial premises should make enquiries regarding possible landfill sites within the area. Remember the polluter is liable in civil and criminal law, and if the waste escapes onto your land, you will then be in a dire situation where you will have to take proceedings against the polluter to “clean up” the waste on your land.

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