New Delhi: India’s top pollution watchdog, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), has asked all the states to ensure that industries that fall under the 17 highly polluting categories comply strictly with emission norms.
It also warned that the industries could face closure if they failed to follow the strict norms.
CPCB sent letter to the pollution control boards of all the states on 21 February, which was reviewed by Mint . It noted that the country had 17 categories of highly polluting industries that discharge environmental pollutants directly or indirectly into ambient air and water, resulting in an adverse effect on their quality.
CPCB and the state pollution control boards (SPCBs) have been pursuing industries to install air pollution control equipment to comply with emission standards prescribed under the Environment Protection Act 1986. However, desired results have not been achieved as yet.
In September 2017, CPCB asked all the state pollution control boards to ensure compliance with such norms but when it carried out inspections, it found that, a “number of industries have not provided proper facilities for stack emission monitoring" in accordance with emission regulations.
As per the letter, emission regulations are prescribed by CPCB to “facilitate proper monitoring facilities like port hole, ladder, platforms" and their absence is considered a “severe violation" of clearance given to operate by the pollution boards.
Noting this, CPCB directed all SPCBs to ensure that industries which are counted under the 17 highly polluting categories follow strict emissions norms.
For instance, the letter asked industries to provide, “stack monitoring facility" as per emission regulations “for all stacks attached with boilers."
“The industrial unit will ensure that the port hole and ladder facility is safe to carry out monitoring. In place of monkey ladder, spiral type/scaffold ladder shall be provided to ensure safety of monitoring personnel," the letter noted.
It noted that SPCBs will now prescribe such directions in the “Consent to Establish (CTE)" given to industries and “shall verify the compliance of stack monitoring provisions before issuance of Consent to Operate (CTO) to air polluting industrial units and ensure that no CTO is issued to the unit without such facilities".
Under India’s Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1974 and Air Act (Prevention and Control of Pollution) 1981, it is a requirement to get CTE from respective SPCBs before starting construction of an industrial unit and get CTO from the SPCBs before starting production activities at that unit.
The letter warned that absence of a proper stack monitoring facility will be considered a “violation of CPCB’s direction and appropriate action shall be taken including closure of the industrial unit." CPCB also sought action taken reports on the issue from all States within one month.