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Pollution Control Acts and Regulations of India for Chloro Alkali Industry by s. Ali

Pollution Control Acts and Regulations of India for Chloro Alkali Industry by s. Ali

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Published by: Pikuram on Nov 29, 2010
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POLLUTION CONTROL ACTSAND REGULATIONS OF INDIA
byHarish C. SharmaIn 1976, when the Indian parliament passed the 42ndamendment to its constitution safeguarding the environment,it became the first country in the world to do so. Theamendment was to “endeavor to protect and improve theenvironment and to safeguard the forests and wild life ofthe country.” It imposes a duty on every Indian citizen “toprotect and improve the natural environment includingforests, lakes, rivers, and wild life, and to havecompassion for living creatures.”According to the Environment Protection Act of 1986,Environment is that which includes the “inter-relationshipwhich exists among and between water, air, and land andhuman beings, other living creatures, plants, micro-organismand property.”Essentially, The Water (Prevention & Control) Act, 1974 canbe considered to be truly the first regulations. It has beenamended many times since then.Basically, there are seven Pollution regulations.1.The Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution)Act, 1974, and its amendments;2.The Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution)Cess Act, 1974 and its amendments;3.The Air (Prevention & Control of Pollution)Act, 1981 and its amendments;4.The Environment (Prevention) Act, 1986 andits amendments,(a) National Environmental Tribunal Act of1995 and(b) National Environmental AppellateAuthority Act of 1997;5.Hazardous Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, July1989 and6.The Public Liability Insurance Act, 1991.The Public Liability Insurance Act 1991 has been included asthe sixth environmental regulation because it is the firstregulation which gives some teeth to the other fivepollution regulations listed above.
THE CENTRAL AND STATE BOARDS
 
It was the Water Act of 1974 which established a CentralPollution Board and a State Pollution Control Board.Subsequently, the same Boards have been given the power togovern all the pollution regulations passed since then andany other to be put in regulations in the future.
Constitution and Authority of the Board
Pollution Boards are to be headed by a Chairman and a fewmembers who are all appointed. The Chairman as well as theBoard members are appointed by the respective governments.The members to be appointed to the Boards are to be selectedfrom various interest groups such as Corporations, PublicHealth Engineering, Agriculture, Forestry, Fishery, etc.Basic purpose of these Boards are to advise their respectivegovernments on any matter concerning the prevention andcontrol of pollution in their area of jurisdiction. TheCentral Board coordinates as well as oversees al the otherState Boards and their functions.To implement any environmental pollution control act, theBoard has the power to obtain information “make surveys ofany area and gauge and keep records of the flow of volume...of the stream.” It has the power to take samples, analyzeany matter from the industry. The Boards also have theauthority to establish or recognize any laboratory forchemical analytical work. 
THE WATER (PREVENTION AND CONTROL OF POLLUTION) ACT, 1974 AND ITS AMENDMENTS
The purpose of this act is “to provide for the preventionand control of water pollution and the maintenance orrestoring wholesomeness of water for the establishment, witha view to carrying out the purpose of aforesaid of Boardsfor the prevention and control of water pollution, forconferring on and assigning to such Boards powers andfunctions relating thereto and for matters connectedtherewith.” This is the Act that established the Central anda State Board and also the authority and power to constituteas many committees as it feels essential to carry outspecific functions for it.The Act specifically prohibits “any poisonous, noxious orpolluting matter’ into any stream or well. A consent fromthe State Board is required for any type of new dischargeinto any new stream or well. This also includes consent for“temperature” discharges as done by cooling tower users. Ingeneral, this means that a State consent or permit is
 
required for all types of intake and/or discharge of anytype of liquid or water either from a running stream orwell.Under these rules, “effluent standards to be complied withby persons while causing discharge of sewage or sullage orboth” have been specified. Standards for small scaleindustries have been specified separately.Penalties for non-compliance with the permit or polluting inany way are imprisonment for three months and fine of Rs.10,000 (One US Dollar equals about thirty six Indian Rupees)or fine up to Rs. 5,000 per day of violation or both plusany expenses incurred by the Board for sampling, analysis,inspection etc. These penalties can also be imposed for“obstructing any person acting under the orders or directionof the Board” or for “damages to any work or property of theBoard.”There are penalties also which extend up to seven years plusother monetary fines for other similar offenses. Any“director, manager, secretary or other officer of thecompany may also be deemed to be guilty” if proved that theoffense occurred with their “consent or connivance.” In caseof the government, department head could be held liable.
Laboratory
The central as well as the state government can start a labto do analysis on samples of water or of sewage or tradeeffluents for tests. A fee will be charged for theseservices.The law can also stop or restrain a person from dischargingany pollutant to any stream or well “which is likely tocause such pollution from so causing.” Imprisonment up tothree months and a fine up to Rs. 10,000 for every day ofviolation during which such failure continues after theconviction for first such offense.
THE WATER (PREVENTION AND CONTROL OF POLLUTION)CESS ACT, 1977
This law provides for the levy and collection of a Cess onwater consumed by persons carrying on certain industries andby local authorities, with a view to augment the resourcesof the Central and State Boards for the prevention andcontrol of water pollution constituted under the Water(Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974.” Industrieswere specified in Schedule I. They are:

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