Summary of Important Environmental Laws in India
Environmental protection has always been a part and parcel of Indian Culture as evidenced by the stipulated responsibilities of the State as well as Citizens for the nature and living being in the Constitutions of India under Article 48A and 51A (g)
Article 48A : The State shall endeavor to protect and improve the environment and safeguard the forests and wildlife of the country; and
Article 51A (g) : Fundamental duty of every citizen to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wildlife and to have compassion for living creatures.
LAWS FOR ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT
In India, MOEF is a multi-disciplinary regulatory body for the environmental protection and conservation in the country. Environmental laws of unprecedented scope and impact have been passed by the GOI in order to protect and improve the environment. The relevant legislations for environmental management are summarized below. Concerned Gazette Notification may be referred for further details. For more details click here.
I. The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974
Rapid depletion and degradation in the quality of water and its ill effects on human health forced the concerned authorities to introduce the first legislation to prevent and control water pollution as early as in mid-seventies.
This Act provides for the prevention and control of water pollution and the maintenance or restoration of wholesomeness of water. As such, all human activities having a bearing on water quality are covered under this Act.
Subject to the provisions in the Act, no person without the previous consent of the State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) can establish any industry, operation or process, or any treatment and disposal system or an extension or addition thereto which is likely to discharge sewage or trade effluent into a stream or well or sewer or on land and have to apply to the SPCB concerned to obtain the 'Consent to establish' as well as the 'Consent to operate' the industry after establishment.
II. The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Cess Act, 1977
The main purpose of this Act is to levy and collect cess on water consumed by certain categories of industry specified in the schedule appended to the Act. The money thus collected is used by the SPCBs to prevent and control water pollution.
III. The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981
The objective of the Air Act, 1981 is to prevent, control and reduce air pollution including noise pollution. Under the provisions of this Act, no person shall, without the previous consent of the SPCB, establish or operate any industrial plant in air pollution control area. The investor has to apply to the SPCB/ Pollution Control Committee (PCC) to obtain consent. No person operating any industrial plant shall emit any air pollutant in excess of the standards laid down by the SPCB and have to comply with the stipulated conditions.
IV. The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986
This is an umbrella Act for the protection and improvement of environment and for matters connected with it. It provides that no person carrying on any industry, operation or process should discharge or emit or permit to be discharged or emitted any environmental pollutant in excess of such standards as may be prescribed.
Several sets of rules relating to various aspects of management of hazardous chemicals, wastes etc. have also been notified. Under this Act, Central Govt. has restricted, prohibited the location in the industries and have also permitted processes discharge of liquid effluent and noise have been evolved and notified so far. The standards in respect of pollutants are to be achieved within a period of one year from the date of their notification, especially by those industries identified as highly polluting. However, if a particular SPCB desires, it may reduce the time limit and also specify more stringent standards in respect of specified category of industries within their jurisdiction. The SPCB, however, can not relax either the time limit or the standards stipulated by the GOI. Under Section 15, punishment, fine and imprisonment for the violation of the provision of this Act.
Subject to the provision of this Act, Central Govt. has the power to take all measures as it deemed necessary or expedient for the purpose of protection and improving the environment and preventing, controlling and abating environmental pollution.
Procedures, safeguards, prohibition and restriction on the handling of hazardous substances alongwith the prohibition and restriction on the location of industries and carrying on processes and operations in different areas have been notified. Restrictions have been imposed on various activities in fragile areas i.e. Doon Valley in U.P., Aravali Regions in Alwar, Rajasthan, Coastal zones and Ecologically sensitive zones etc. (MOEF, 1989 and 1992 a). Besides, Public Liability Insurance (PLI) Act, 1991 is constituted to provide immediate relief to the persons affected by accident occurring while handing any hazardous substance (MOEF, 1991 and 1992 b).
V. T he Hazardous Wastes (Management and Handling) Rules, 1989 & 200
In nutshell, project proponents handling hazardous wastes must report to the concerned authorities in Form-I regarding handing of wastes, obtain authorization for handling wastes in Form-2, maintain proper records in Form-3, file annual returns in Form-4, label all packages, consignments etc., report any accident immediately in Form-5 report import-export of hazardous waste in Form-6 under HW Rules, 1989. Hazardous wastes have been categorized in 18 categories.
Recently, MOEF has notified the HW (M&H) Amendment Rules on January 6, 2000 (MOEF, 2000a). Under these rules toxic chemicals, flammable chemicals and explosives have been redefined to be termed as 'hazardous chemical'. As per new criteria, 684 hazardous chemicals instead of 4343 chemicals listed in HW Rules, 1989 have been identified. All the hazardous substances have been kept in 3 categories (i) Process specific industrial wastes, (ii) Waster substances with concentration limits and (iii) Waste applicable only for imports and exports. Authorization application shall be processed by the SPCB within 90 days. It will be valid for 5 years and its renewal will depend on steps taken for reduction in the waste generated, recycled or reused. Disposal sites for hazardous waste disposal shall be identified by the State Govt. operator of a facility or occupier. EIA is to be carried out for selecting the appropriate site. Public hearing for objections and suggestions has to be arranged by the SPCB within 30 days. SPCB will monitor the setting up and operation of a facility regularly. Operation and closure of landfill site is to be carried out as per Rule 8A by the SPCB. Import and export of hazardous waste for dumping and disposal is strictly prohibited. It is permitted only if raw material is used for recycling or reuse.
VI. The Manufacture, Storage and Import of Hazardous Chemical Rules, 1989 & 2000 .
Under these rules, project proponents of any kind of hazardous industry have to identify likely hazard and their danger potential. They also have to take adequate steps to prevent and limit the consequences of any accident at site. Information regarding accidents is to be updated as per Schedule-7. Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for all the chemicals in handling has to be prepared. Workers on site are required to be provided with information, training and necessary equipments to ensure their safety. On-site Emergency Plan is to be prepared before initiating any activity at the site. Off-site Emergency Plan is to be prepared by the District Collector in close collaboration with the Project proponents for any accident envisaged on site. The public in the vicinity of the plant should be informed of the nature of major accidents that may occur on site and the Do's and Dont's to be followed in case of such an occurrence. Import of hazardous chemicals is to be reported to the concerned authority within 30 days from the date of import.
Recently, MOEF has made significant amendments in the MSIHC Rules, 1989 on January 20, 2000. Under new amendments, new Schedule-I is incorporated with the increase in the number of hazardous chemicals. Renewal of Authorization will be subject to submission of 'Annual Returns' for disposal of hazardous waste; production of evidence of reduction in the waste generated or recycled or reused; rulfilment of authorization conditions and remittance of processing and analysis fee. State Govt. as well as occupier or its association shall be responsible for the identification of site for common waste disposal facility. Public hearing is also made mandatory to be conducted by the State Govt. before notifying any common hazardous waste disposal site as per procedure laid down in Gazette Notification dated April 10, 1997 (MOEF, 1997; Rastogi, 1997a and 2000c). Central/ State Govt. will provide guidance for the design, operation and closure of common waste facility/ landfill site. It is mandatory to obtain prior approval from the SPCB for design and layout of the proposed hazardous waste disposal facility. Comprehensive procedure have also been laid down in the MSIHC Rules, 2000 for the regulation of export and import of hazardous wastes.
VII. Public Liability Insurance Act, 1991
This Act, unique to India, imposes on the owner the liability to provide immediate relief in respect of death or injury to any person or damage to any property resulting from an accident while handling any of the notified hazardous chemicals. This relief has to be provided on 'no fault' basis. The owner handling hazardous chemical has to take an insurance policy to meet this liability of an amount equal to its "paid up capital" or upto Rs.500 millions, whichever is less. The policy has to be renewed every year. New undertaking will have to take this policy before starting their activity. The owner also has to pay an amount equal to its annual premium to the Central Government's Environment Relief Fund (ERF). The reimbursement of relief to the extent of Rs.25,000/- per person is admissible in case of fatal accidents in addition to the reimbursement of medical expenses upto Rs.12,500/-. The liability of the insurance is limited to Rs.50 million per accident upto Rs.150 millions per year or upto the tenure of the policy. Any claims in excess to this liability will be paid from the ERF. In case the award still exceed, the remaining amount shall have to be met by the owner. The payment under the Act is only the immediate relief, owners shall have to provide the final compensation, if any, arising out of legal proceedings (MOEF, 1991 and 1992c; Singh et al, 1994).
VIII. The National Environment Tribunal Act, 1995
The National Environment Tribunal Act, 1995 is enacted to setup legal institution across the country to provide for strict liability for damages arising out of accidents occurring during handling of hazardous substances and for establishment of National Environment Tribunal for effective and expunction disposal of cases arising from such accidents, with a view to giving relief and compensation for damages to person, property and the environment.
IX. Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Notification
With a view to control and prevent environmental degradation arising due to mining projects, MOEF, GOI has issued a notification on January 27, 1994 (as amended on May 4, 1994) making it necessary to obtain environmental clearance before undertaking any new project and projects involving expansion/modernisation etc. listed in Schedule-1 of the notification (MOEF, 1994; Rastogi, 1995; Singh et al, 1994). With respect to mining projects, the notification inter-alia provides that site clearane is necessary for prospecting and exploration of major minerals in areas above 500 ha in and for mining projects including major minerals with leases in excesss of 5 ha in an area. However, no prior site clearance and public hearing is required if test drilling is carried out on a scale not exceeding 5 bore holes per 100 Sq. Km. (MOEF, 1999). Besides environmental clearance is also necessary for mining projects including measure minerals with leases in excess of 5 ha in area and those located in/near forests, wildlife sanctuaries, national parks, wet lands, mangroves, biosphere reserves, hill and mountain areas etc. even if the area and cost is less than 5 ha and Rs.50.00 Crores respectively.
Restrictions for mining in Aravalli hill range of Rajasthan
Due to ecological sensitive/fragile ecosystem, mining activities have been prohibited in Alwar district of Rajasthan (MOEF, 1992). As per this notification, all new mining operations including renewal of mining leases, existing mining leases in sanctuaries, national parks and areas covered under Project Tiger, and/or mining being done without prior permission of Competent Authority require prior permission from MOEF, GOI.
Restrictions for mining in ecologically fragile areas
Restrictions have also been imposed for mining operations in wildlife, sanctuaries, national parks, near the national monuments, areas of cultural heritage, ecological fragile areas rich in biological diversity, gene pool etc. Prior environmental clearance is required in respect of any project to be located within 10 Km. of the boundary of reserve forests or a designated ecologically sensitive area or within 25 Km. of the boundary of national park or sanctuary (MOEF, 1994).
Restrictions for mining in Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ)
Mining of sand, rocks and other substrata materials, except those rare minerals not available outside the CRZ areas is banned in the 7,500 Km. long coastal stretches of seas, bays, estuaries, creeks, rivers and backwaters which are influenced by the tidal action (in the landwordside) upto 500 meters from the High Tide Line (HTL) and the land between the Low Tide Line (LTL) and the HTL as Coastal Regulation Zone.
Enforcement of Forest Conservation
All the mining leases granted clearance under F (C) Act, 1980 can be divided into two parts :
(i) Renewal of leases which were granted clearance prior to 25th October, 1980. Mining operations can be continued in broken up area. No diversion of forest land is required in such areas.
(ii) Fresh mining leases which were granted clearance after 25th October, 1980. In such cases, diversion of forest land is required against the compensatory afforestation over the non-forest land to be earmarked by the State Govt. which has to be transferred and mutated in favour of the State Forest Department. If the lease area is less than 5 ha. project proposal is processed and decided by the concerned Regional Office of the MOEF. However, if the lease area is more than 20 ha. proposal is processed in the Regional Office but final decision regarding forest clearance is taken by the MOEF, New Delhi.
Guidelines for obtaining Environmental Clearance
Procedure and guidelines for getting the environmental clearance for any developmental project including mining are published (MOEF, 1994; Singh et al, 1994). Besides, comprehensive guidelines for "Environmental Management of Mining Operations" to take various precautions during the planning phase and various stages of mining operations are also available (MOEF, 1982). A comparative study of EIA guidelines and procedures with the international standards have revealed that Indian EIA guidelines are quite comparable with the EIA gudelines of World Bank (WB) and European Economic Commission (EEC) and are even better than Overseas Development Agency (ODA) and Asian Development Bank (ADB) (Rastogi, 1995).
(i) Documents required with the project proposal
It is mandatory to submit the following documents alongwith project proposal before starting any activity at the project site :
(a) Environmental Appraisal Questionnaire as prescribed in the Schedule II of EIA notification (Table-II)
(b) Feasibility/Project Report
(d) Site clearance
(e) "No Objection Certificate" from the State Pollution Control Board/State Environment Department/ Local Authorities.
(f) Rehabilitation Plans where large scale displacement of people is anticipated
(ii) Procedure for seeking environmental clearance of the mining projects
Any person who desires to establish a project of any category mentioned in Schedule-I shall submit an application to the Department of Environment State Government dealing with the environment. The application shall be made in the proforma in Schedule-II (Table 1 & 2).
All the 29 categories of projects (now 30) as mentioned in Schedule-I of EIA notification, 1994 including all the mining projects have to go through the process of public hearing since April 10, 1997 (MOEF, 1997; Rastogi, 2000 c). 20 sets of executive summary containing the salient features are to be submitted to the State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) both in English as well as in local language. A notice for environmental public hearing is issued by the State Pollution Control Board in at least two newspapers widely circulated in the region around the project, one of which shall be in the vernacular language of locality concerned. Date, time and place of public hearing shall be mentioned clearly by the State Pollution Control Board. Public can submit its suggestions, views, comments and objections within 30 days from the date of publication of the notification.
The participation in public hearing is open to the bonafied residents, environmental groups and other located at the project site/sites of displacement /sites likely to be affected. Oral/written suggestions can also be made by the public to the concerned State Pollution Control Board.
The composition of Public Hearing Panel consists of the following viz.
(i) District Collector or his nominee.
(ii) Representative of the State Pollution Control Board.
(iii) Representative of the State Government dealing with the subject.
(iv) Representative of the Department of the State Government dealing with the Environment.
(v) Not more than three representatives of the local bodies such as Municipalities of
(vi) Not more than three senior citizens of the area nominated by the District Collector.
The concerned person (s) are provided access to the Executive Summary of the project at the following places viz.
(i) District Collector's Office
(ii) District Industry Centre
(iii) Office of the Chief Executive Officers of the Zila Parishad or Commissioner of the Municipal Corporation/ Local body as the case may be.
(iv) Head office of the concerned State Pollution Control Board and its concerned Regional Office.
(v) Department of the State Government dealing with the Environment.
Since mining projects also requires site clearance, they have to apply for the site clearance also.
A decision regarding suitability of the proposed site is conveyed within 30 days. The said site clearance is granted for a sanctioned capacity and is valid for a period of five years for commencing the construction or operation.
The Applicant is required to obtain "No Objection Certificate (NOC)" from the concerned State Pollution Control Board who shall issue 'NOC' to establish only after completing public hearing as mentioned above.
The report submitted with application is evaluated and assessed by the Impact Assessment Agency and if deemed necessary it may consult a Committee of Experts having a composition as specified in Schedule-III (Table 3). This committee of experts has full right of entry and inspection of the site at any time prior to, during or after the commencement of the operations relating to the project.
Based on the technical assessment of the documents and data furnished by the applicant supplemented by the data collected during site visits after interaction with affected population and environmental group, State Government prepares a set of recommendations. If necessary, summary of the reports, recommendations and conditions subject to which environmental clearance is given, is also made available to the concerned parties or environmental groups or requests in public interest. Comments of the public may be solicited, if so decided by the Impact Assessment Agency within 30 days of the receipt of the proposal.
(iii) Issue of environmental clearance or rejection letter
(A) Single Window Clearance
Project proposals requiting environmental clearance as well as forest land approval are submitted to the concerned division in the MOEF for simultaneous processing and separate letters for environmental clearance and forest and approval or rejection are issued.
(B) Time Limit
Projects is either cleared or rejected within 90 days after reviewing all the requisite documents and data from the project proponents and decision of the MOEF is conveyed within 30 days. If no comments for the Impact Assessment Agency (IAA) are received within time limit, project would be deemed to be approved as proposed by the project proponents.
Rejected cases may be reviewed as and when submitted with complete data and plans. However, submission of incomplete data or plans for the second time would be a sufficient reason for Impact Assessment Agency to reject the case summarily.
(iv) Post-clearance monitoring
Six Regional Offices of the MOEF located at Lucknow, Chandigarh, Bhopal, Bhubaneshwar, Shillong and Bangalore have been assigned the job of post-clearance monitoring of all the cleared projects. All the recommendations/ conditions stipulated by the Environmental Appraisal Committee (EAC) have to be complied with by the project proponents. Submission of six monthly reports is mandatory after commissioning the project. Subject to the public interest, IAA can make "compliance report" available to the public. Cases of the non-compliance of the stipulated environmental conditions/ recommendations of the cleared projects are brought to the notice of Ministry of Environment & Forests and Central/ State Pollution Control Boards which initiate action against the project proponents under various legislations promulgated by the Govt. of India.
(v) Validity of the clearance letter
The clearance granted to any project is valid for five years only for commencement of the construction or operation. One has to apply for fresh clearance after expiry of the due date.
(vi) Work at site
No construction work, preliminary or otherwise relating to setting up of the project may be undertaken till the environmental and/or site clearance is obtained.
(vii) Right of entry and inspection
The EAC experts shall have full right of entry and inspection of the site at any time prior to during or after commencement of the operation relating to the project.
(viii) Misrepresentation/manipulation of data
Concealing factual data or submission of false information, misleading data, engineered reports, false decisions and recommendations may lead to the project being rejected. Approval, if granted earlier on the basis of false data can also be revoked.
(ix) Expansion and modernization of existing projects
A fresh environmental clearance is required for the expansion/ modernization of project if the resultant pollution load is to exceed the existing levels. A certificate issued by the SPCB will have to be submitted to the IAA who will review such cases in the public interest justifying the need for another environmental clearance.
If land and all relevant clearances of the State Govt. including "NOC' fromt he SPCB have been obtained before 27th January, 1994, a project proponent is not required to seek environmental clearance from the IAA, however, those units who have yet not commenced projection will inform the IAA.
Projects which have been cleared by the Ministry of Environment & Forest before IAA Notification, 1994 and no construction/ operation work is started till 01.08.98 due to any reasons i.e. non-availability of financial resources, forests clearance, infrastructure like land, electricity, road etc. or Interstate water dispute, their environmental clearance will be invalid. In all such cases, fresh environmental clearance is to be obtained if these projects come in the 30 categories listed in the EIA notification (MOEF, 1998).
(x) Environmental safeguards/ conditions stipulated for mining projects
MOEF, GOI generally stipulated following general environmental safeguards/ conditions for implementation by the project proponents for maintaining the environmental and ecological balance in the concerned area:
(i) Follow up of calendar plan as per EIA/EMP.
(ii) Preservation of top soil and stacking of top soil and overburden (OB) separately at earmarked site only.
(iii) Reclamation of OB dumps, degraded lands and raising of green belt in phased manner. Angle of slope to be maintained as 28*.
(iv) Construction of garland drains.
(v) Monitoring of fugitive emissions and ambient air and control of SPM level within permissible limits.
(vi) Construction of Effluent Treatment Plant (ETP) and discharge of effluent only after proper treatment.
(vii) Implementation of subsidence management plan in case of underground mining projects.
(viii) Rehabilitation and resettlement as per norms.
(ix) Constitution of Environment Management Cell.
(x) Provision of funds for environmental management.
(xi) Regular monitoring and report submission to SPCB and MOEF.
Non-compliance to any of the above stipulated safeguard leads to serious violation under the provision of E (P) Act, 1986 and its amendments issued from time to time.
SCHEDULE - I
LIST OF PROJECTS REQUIRING ENVIRONMENTAL CLEARANCE FROM THE CENTRAL GOVERNMENT
1. Nuclear Power and related projects such as heavy water plants, nuclear fuel complex, rare earth.
2. River valley projects including hydel power, major irrigation and their combination including flood control.
3. Ports, harbours, airports (except minor ports and harbours).
4. Petroleum refineries including crude and product pipelines.
5. Chemical fertilizers (Nitrogenous and phosphatic other than single superphosphate).
6. Pesticides (technical).
7. Petrochemical complexes (both olefinic and aromatic) and petro-chemical intermediates such as DMT, Caprolactam, LAB etc. and production of basic plastics such as LDPE, HDPE, PP, PVC.
8. Bulk drugs and pharmaceuticals.
9. Exploration for oil and gas and their production, transportation and storage.
10. Synthetic rubber.
11. Asbestos and asbestos products.
12. Hydrocyanic acid and its derivatives.
13. (a) Primary metallurgical industries (such as production of Iron and Steel, Aluminium, Copper, Zinc, Lead and Ferro alloys).
(b) Electric arc furnaces (Mini steel plants)
14. Chlor-alkali industry.
15. Integrated paint complex including manufacture of resins and basic raw materials required in the manufacture of paints.
16. Viscose staple fiber and filament yarn.
17. Storage batteries integrated with manufacture of oxides of lead and lead antimony alloy.
18. All batteries integrated with manufacture of oxides of lead and lead antimony alloy.
19. All tourism between 200-500 metres of High Tide Line or at locations with as elevation of more than 1000 meters with investment of more than Rs.5 crores.
20. Thermal power plants.
21. Mining projects (major minerals) with leases more than 5 hectares.
22. Highway projects.
23. Tarred roads in Himalayas and/or forest areas.
25. Raw skins and hides.
26. Pulp, paper and newsprint.
29. Foundries (individual)
(a) Name and Address of the project proposed:
(b) Location of the project:
Name of the place:
Nearest Airport/ Railway Station:
(c) Alternate sites examined and the reasons for selecting the proposed site:
(d) Does the site conform to stipulated land use as per local land use plan:
Objectives of the project:
(a) Land requirement:
Forest land and density of vegetation:
(b) (i) Land use in the catchment/ within 10 Kms. radius of the proposed site:
(ii)Topography of the area indicating gradient, aspects and altitude:
(iii) Erodability classification of the proposed land:
(c) Pollution sources existing in 10 kms. radius and their impact on quality of air, water & land:
(d) Distance of the nearest National Park/ Sanctuary Biosphere Reserve/ Monuments/ heritage site/ Reserve Forest:
(e) Rehabilitation plan for quarries/ borrow areas:
(f) Green belt plan:
(g) Compensatory afforestation plan:
Climate and Air Quality:
(a) Windrose at site:
(b) Max./min./mean/annual temperature:
(c) Frequency of inversion:
(d) Frequency of cyclones/ tornadoes/ cloud burst:
(e) Ambient air quality data:
(f) Nature & concentration of emission of SPM, Gas (CO, CO2, NOx, CH4 etc.) from the project.
(a) Water balance at site:
(b) Lean season water availability:
(c) Source to be tapped with competing users (River, Lake, Ground Public supply):
(d) Water quality:
(e) Changes observed in quality and quantity of ground water in the last 15 years and present charging and extraction details:
(f) (i) Quantum of waste water to be released with treatment details:
(ii) Quantum of quality of water in the receiving body before and after disposal.
(iii) Quantum of waste water to be released on land and type of land:
(g) (i) Details of reservoir quality with necessary Catchment Treatment Plan:
(ii) Command Area Development Plan:
(a) Nature & quality of solid wastes generated:
(b) Solid waste disposal metnod:
Noise and vibrations:
(a) Sources of noise and vibrations:
(b) Ambient noise level:
(c) Noise and vibration control measures proposed:
(d) Subsidence problem, if any, with control measures:
Power requirement indicating source of supply: Complete environmental details to be furnished separately, if captive unit proposed:
Peak labour force to be deployed giving details of:
- Endemic health problems in the area due to waste water/ air/soil borne diseases:
- Health care system existing and proposed:
(a) Number of villages and population to be displaced:
(b) Rehabilitation Master Plan:
Risk Assessment Report and Disaster Management Plan:
(a) Environmental Impact Assessment Report to be prepared.
(b) Environmental Management Plan as per guidelines of MOEF
(c) Detailed Feasibility Report issued from time to time.
(d) Duly-filled in questionnaire:
Details of Environmental Management Cell:
I hereby given an undertaking that the data and information given above are true to the best of my knowledge and belief and I am aware that if any part of the data/ information submitted is found to be false or misleading at any stage, the project be rejected and the clearance given, if any, to the project is likely to be revoked at our risk and cost.
Date: Signature of applicant
Place: With name and full address
Given under the seal of Organisation on behalf of whom the applicant is signing.
COMPOSITION OF THE EXPERT COMMITTEES FOR ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT
1. The Committees will consists of experts in the following disciplines:
(i) Eco-system management
(ii) Air/water pollution control
(iii) Water resource management
(iv) Flora/fauna conservation and management
(v) Land use planning
(vi) Social sciences/rehabilitation
(vii) Project appraisal
(ix) Environmental health
(x) Subject area specialists
(xi) Representatives of NGOs/persons concerned with environmental issues.
2. The Chairman will be an outstanding and experienced ecologist or environmentalist of technical professional with wide managerial experience.
3. The representative of IAA will act as Member Secretary.
4. Chairman and members will serve in their individual capacities except those specifically nominated as representatives.
5. The membership of a Committee shall not exceed 15.
xi) The Chemical Accidents (Emergency Planning, Preparedness and Response) Rules, 1996
These rules provided a statutory backup for setting up of a Crisis Group in districts and States which have Major Accident Hazard (MAH) installations for providing information to the public. So far, 1436 MAH units are installed in 265 districts. The rules define the MAH installations which include industrial activity, transport an isolated storage at a site handling hazardous chemicals in quantities specified.
As per the rules, GOI has constituted a Central Crisis Group (CCG) for the management of chemical accidents and has set up an alert system. The Chief Secretaries of all the States have also constituted Standing State Crisis Groups (SSCG) to plan and response to chemical accidents in the State. The District Collector has to constitute District as well as Local Central Crisis Groups (DCG and LCG). So far, 13 States have constituted State, District and Local Crisis Groups. The CCG is the apex body in the country to deal with and provide expert guidance for planning and handling of major chemical accidents. It continuously monitors the post-accident situations and suggests measures for prevention of recurrence of such accidents. MOEF, GOI has published a State-wise list of experts and concerned officials. The SCG is the apex body of the State chaired by the Chief Secretary consisting of GOI officials, technical experts and industry representatives and deliberates on planning, preparedness and mitigation of chemical accidents to reduce the extent, loss of life, property and ill-health. The SSCG reviews all the District Off-site Emergency Plans for its adequacy. The District Collector is the Chairman of DCG serving as apex body at the district level. DCG will review all the ON-site Emergency Plans prepared by the occupier of the MAH installations and also conduct one full scale mock-drill of the District Off-site Emergency Plan at a site each year. So far, 1309 units have prepared on site and 90 district Off-site Emergency Plans.
These rules enable preparation of On- and Off-site Emergency Plans, updation and conduction of mock-drills. Implementation of PLI Act for providing speedy relief to the victims is also ensured under these rules.
xii) T he Biomedical Wastes (Management and Handling) Rules, 1998
The Biomedical Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 1998 regulate the disposal of biomedical wastes including human anatomical wastes, blook, body fluids, medicines, glass wares and animal wastes by the health care institutions/ hospitals (i.e. nursing homes, clinics, dispensaries, veterinary institutions, animal houses, pathological laboratories and bloon banks etc. inthe cities having population more than 30 lacs or allthe hospitals with bed strength more than 500. They are required to install and commission requisite facilities like incinerators, autoclaves, microwave systems etc. for the treatment of biomedical wastes by June 30, 2000. All the health care facilities are required to provide biomedical waste disposal facilities by December 31, 2002 (MOEF, 1998 b and 2000 c & d). All the persons handling such wastes are required to obtain permission from the Appropriate Authority. Segregation of biomedical wastes at source has been made mandatory for all the institutions and organizations dealing with them. These rules make the generator of biomedical waste liable to segregate, pack, store, transport, treat and dispose the biomedical waste in an environmentally sound manner. Second amendment ot these rules is also issued on June 2, 2000 (MOEF, 2000 c).
A Steering Committee has been constituted to oversee the implementation biomedical wastes (M&H) Rules, 1998 and its amendment in 2000.
xiii) Municipal Solid Wastes (Management and Handling) rules, 2000
Municipal Solid Wastes (M&H) Rules, 2000 have been finally notified under the Environment (P) Act, 1986 on October 3, 2000 (MOEF, 2000 e) and are open to public for their suggestions and comments. Under these rules, Municipal Authority is made responsible for implementation of the provisions of these rules and for any infrastructural development for collection, storage, segregation, transportation, processing and disposal of MSW and have to comply with these rules by the schedule given in Schedule-I. Municipal authoirty or operator of a facility shall apply in Form-I for grant of authorization for setting up waste processing and disposal facility including land fills from the SPCB to comply with the implementation programme laid down in Schedule-I. Annual report is to be submitted by Municipal Authority in Form-II to the District Magistrate/ Deputy Commssioner who shall have the power to enforce these rules. MSW shall be managed as per Schedule-II. Disposal of MSW shallbe through landfill as per specifications and standards laid downin Schedule-III & IV. The standards regarding ground water, ambient air, leachate quality and compost quality shall be followed by the Municipal Authorities as per Schedule-IV. On the bais of Form-I, SPCB/PCC shall issue authorization in stipulating compliance criteria and standards as specified in Schedule-II, III & IV. Authorization shall be valid for a given period. CPCB, SPCB/PCC will review implementation of standards and guidelines. SPCB/PCC shall submit regular reports to CPCB in Form-IV regarding implementation of Municipal Solid Wastes (M&H) Rules, 2000 by September 15 every year. CPCB shall prepare the consolidated annual review report on management of municipal solid wastes and submit to Central Government along with its recommendation before December 15 every year. Municipal Authorities have also been asked to submit accident report in Form-VI if it happens during collection, segregation, storage, processing, treatment and disposal facility or landfill site or during the transportation of such wastes.
xiv) The Recycled Plastics Manufacture and Usage Rules, 1999 .
Under these rules, use of carry bags or containers made of recycled plastics for storing, carrying, dispensing or packaging of foodstuffs is prohibited. Carry bags or containers made of plastics can be manufactured only when (i) Virgin plastic in its natural shade or white is used and (ii) Recycled plastic is used for purposes other than storing and packaging foodstufs using pigments and colourants as per IS:9833:1981. Recycling of plastics is to be undertakne strictly in accordance with the Bureau of Indian Standards specifications IS:14534:1998 entitled "The Guidelines for Recycling of Plastics". Manufacturer has to print on each packet of carry bags as 'Made of Recycled Material' or of 'Virgin Plastic'. The minimum thickness of carry bags should not be less than 20 microns. And finally, Plastic Industry Association through their member units have to undertake self regulatory measures. These rules shall be enforced by the concerned SPCB in the States and PCC in the Union Territories (MOEF, 1999 a).
xv) The Fly Ash Notification, 1999
The final notification to conserve top soil andprevent the dumping and disposal of fly ash discharged from coal or lignite based thermal power plants have been issued on September 14, 1999 (MOEF, 1999 b). Under these directives, it is mandatory for every brick manufacturer within a radius of 50 Km from coal or lignite based thermal power plant to mix at least 25% of ash (fly ash/ bottom ash/pond ash) with soil on weight to weight basis to manufacture clay bricks or tiles or blocks used in construction activities. Every coal or lignite based thermal power plant has to make available ash, for at least ten years from the date of publication of this notification, without any payment or any other consideration, for the purpose of manufacturing ash-based products. Every coal or lignite based thermal power plant commissioned subject to environmental condition stipulating the submission of an actionplan has to achieve the same within 9 years (15 years for plants not covered by environmental clearance). As per the directive, Central and State Govt. Agencies, the State Electricity Boards, NTPC and the management of thermal power plants have to facilitate utilization of ash and ash-based products in their respective schedule of specifications. All the local authorities have also to specify in their respective building bye-laws and regulations about the use of ash and ash-based products.
xvi) The Batteries (Management and Handling) Rules, 2001
The MOEF has recently issued final Batteries (M&H) Rules, 2001 to control the hazards associated with the backyard smelting and unauthorized reprocessing of lead acid batteries. The lead acid batteries are widely used in automobiles such as cars, trucks, buses, two-wheelers and inverters (MOEF, 2001 e).
As per the rules, it is mandatory for the battery manufacturers, improters, assemblers and re-conditioners to collect old batteries on a one to one basis against the sale of new batteries. The batteries so collected have to be sent to recyclers, registered with MOEF for recycling and processing using environmentally sound technology, unless battery manufacturers themselves have such recycling facilities. Registration is accorded by the MOEF to only those unit which have installed environmentally sound technology for processing lead acid batteries, pollution prevention systems and suitable arrangements for waste disposal. As a result, backyard smelting of lead acid batteries with attendant lead emission to the atmosphere, discharge f acid into open ground sewers and loss of load due to poor recovery (30-40%) will come down substantially.
Manufacturers etc. are requrired to set up collection centres for collection of used batteries. Collection centres can be set up either individually or jointly. As such, small scale manufacturers can set up collection centres jointly or make use of collection centres set up by others. Batteries sold to bulk consumers such as Central/State Government Departments, State Road Transport Undertakings and original equipment manufacturers such as automobile manufacturers have been excluded from the obligation for collection. Bulk consumers/auctioneers can auction used batteries only to the registered recyclers or processoros registered with MOEF and small scale manufacturers are at liberty to procure recycle lead fromt he registered recyclers. As a result, middlemen and backyard smelters would be debarred from participation in any auction within the country. Manufacturers have also to incorporate a suitable provision for buy back in case of bulk sale of batteries by the manufacturers to bulk consumers.
Dealers have also been assigned responsibility for collection. Auction of used lead acid batteries by bulk consumer or auctioneers can be made only in favour of registered recyclers. As a result supply of lead for backyard smelting will be reduced substantially. Importers as well as domestic manufacturers have been brought under the provision of these rules and are placed on the same footing as far as responsibility for collection is concerned.
Manufacturers/ Assemblers/ Re-conditioners/ Improters/ Recyclers/ Auctioneers/ Users/ Consumers are required to submit half yearly returns to the SPCB who have been designated as the Prescribed Authority. The forms have been designed in sucha a manner as to enable easy verification of responsibilities fixed for every one under the rules. A collection schedule has been prescribed providing for gradual enhanement of thepercentage of the batteries to be collected and achieve a level of 90% collection from the third year as mentioned in Schedule-I. Batteries have been categorized in order to ensure that batteries collected are similr to that of the batteries sold. Since MOEF already has a scheme for registering reprocesors of usedlead acid batteries, only those reprocessors who have not applied to MOEF already will be required to apply for registration.
Several countries have enacted suitable legislation for encouraging collection of scrap batteries and recycling in an environment-friendly manner. The present rules are in line with the trends in other countries. Recycling of non-ferrous metals such as lead and zinc helps to save energy vis-a-vis primary metal production and is also environment-friendly if reprocessing is done with suitable arrangement for pollution control and waste disposal. They also help in conserving precious metal resources. The new notification by MOEF is a step in this direction and will help in mitigating environmental damage being caused by improper handling of led acid batteries.
References for information on Environmental related issues of further reading.
CPCB (1996) Pollution Control Actr, Rules and Notifications Issued Thereunder (CPCB, New Delhi, India) 1-485.
MOEF, GOI (1985) Environmental Guidelines for Siting of Industry (MOEF, New Delhi, India) 1-16
MOEF, GOI (1989) Gazette Notification, S.O. No.102(E) dt. February 1, 1989, 1-7
MOEF, GOI (1991) The Public Liability Insurance Act Gazette Notification No.6 dt. January 23, 1991, 1-9
MOEF, GOI (1992 a) Gazette Notification, S.O. No.319 (E) dt. May 7, 1992, 1-5
MOEF, GOI (1992 b) Gazette Notification, S.O. No.227 (E) dt. March 24, 1992, 1-6
MOEF, GOI (1994) The Environment Impact Assessment Gazette Notification S.O.No. 60(E) dt. January 27, 1994 (as amended on May 5, 1994) 1-7.
MOEF, GOI (1997) Gazette Notification S.O.No. 318(E) dt. April 10, 1997, 1-10
MOEF, GOI (1998 a) Environmental externalities. In : India - Sustainable Development (TERI, New Delhi) 55-65.
MOEF, GOI (1998 b) Biomedical Wastes (M&H) Rules, 1998. Gazette Notification S.O. No.460(E) dt. July 27, 1998, 1-20.
MOEF, GOI (1999 a) Recycled Plastic Manufacture and Usage Rules, 1999. Gazette Notification S.O. No.705(E) 1-14
MOEF, GOI (1999 b) Fly Ash. Gazette Notification dt. September 14, 1999, 1-8.
MOEF, GOI (1999 c) Environment (Siting for Industrial Projects) (Draft) Rules, 1999. Gazette Notification S.O. No.470(E) dt. June 21, 1991, 1-15.
MOEF, GOI (1999-2000) Annual Report, 68-97
MOEF, GOI (2000a) Hazardous Wastes (M&H) (Amendments) Rules, 2000 Gazette Notification S.O. NO.24 (E) dt. January, 6, 2000, 1-86
MOEF, GOI (2000b) Manufacture, Storage and Import of Hazardous Chemical (Amendment) Rules, 2000. Gazette Notification. S.O. No. 57(E) dt. January 20, 2000, 1-28.
MOEF, GOI (2000c) Biomedical Waste (M&H) (Second Amendment) Rules, 2000. Gazette Notification. S.O. No.545(E) dt. June 2, 2000 1-6
MOEF, GOI (2000d)Health Care Units directed to install biomedical wastes treatment facilities. Enviro News 4, June-July, 4
MOEF, GOI (2001)The Batteries (M&H) Rules, 2001. Gazette Notification S.O. No. 908(E) dt. May 16, 2001, 1-29.
Rastogi P.B. (1995) An overview of national and international Environmental Impact Assessment guidelines. Ind. J. Env. Protection, 15, 4, 297-301.
Rastogi P.B. (1996) Waste management in India J. Environ. res. 6, 2, 74-79.
Rastogi P.B. (1997a) Public participation in environmental protection : A legal requirement. Proceedingof the National Symposium on Public Participation in Environmental Protection (J.N.V. Vyas University, Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India during December 22-23, 1997) 82.
Rastogi P.B. (1997b) Environmental auditing: A legal binding or a management tool. GSI Special Publication, 43, 27, 229-232.
Rastogi P.B. and Lal M.B. (2000a) Environmental legislations related to water resources in Inda. Proceedings of All Indis Seminar on Environmental and Social Issues in Water Resources Development (Institution of Engineers, Lucknow, U.P. India during June 5-6, 2000) 87-94.
Rastogi P.B. (2000b) Environmental legislations related to metallurgical. Proceedings of the International Conference on Environmental Management in Metallurgical Industries (EMMI-2000) (Department of Metallurgical Engineering, I.T., B.H.U., Varanasi during December 14-16, 2000) (Allied Publishers Ltd., New Delhi, India) 385-390.
Rastogi P.B. (2000c) Legal requirements of public participation in environmental protection in: Environmental Protection (Eds. V. Chaudhury K. Singh and B.L. Kakralaya) Pointer Publisher, Jaipur, Rahasthan, India, 8-19.
Rastogi P.B. and Rastogi N. (2000d) Pollution vis-a-vis bio-diversity. In: Yunus, N. Singh and L.J. deKok) Kluwer Academic Publishers. The Netherlands, 73-88.
Rastogi P.B. (2001a) Strategies for waste management in India. Proceedings of the National Conference on Recent Advances in Waste Management (Eds. S.N. Upadhyay, B.N. Rai and P.K.Mishra) Brzark Information Systems Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi, India 3-15.
Rastogi P.B. (2001b) Geo-environmental reclamation of hazardous waste disposal sites. Proceedings of the Role of Earth Sciences in Integrated Developmental and Related Societal Issues (Eds. R.K. Singh and A. Misra) G.S.I. Special Publications, 65, 1, 205-209.
Rastogi P.B. (2002) Environmental legislations for waste management in India. Proceedings of the Workshop of Hazardous Waste Management - Law and Practice in India organized by the Banaras Hindu University Law School under Environmental Law Management Capacity Building Project sponsored by the MOEF, New Delhi and World Bank (March 23-24, 2002) 55-71.
Singh, H., Duraisamy, A. Subramaniam U. and Debabrata D. (1994) Handbook of Environment Procedures and Guidelines (MOEF, N. Delhi, India) 1-24.
K. K. Garg
Ministry of Environment & Forests
Regional Office (Central)