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Environment Laws With a Special reference to Power Sector

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• Electricity is a clean form of energy only at consumption stage • Process of generating electricity involves considerable • Displacement of people • Health Hazards • loss of forests • Destruction of wildlife & • Considerable damage to environment. • So regulation is required to ensure that environmental concerns are taken care of for the power sector in particular and for other economic activities in general

Legal aspect of Environment
• Environment is in concurrent list in 7 schedule of the constitution. • Both central & the state government can legislate on subject matter of environment. • Supreme court of India through a judicial pronouncement recognized Right to Environment protection & clean environment as a Fundamental right under article 21 of the constitution. • SC has stated that “Right to a clean environment is one of the fundamental right under Right to life.”

• Part 5 ,Directive principles of state policy : ‘The state shall endeavor to protect & improve the environment& safeguard the forest & wildlife of the country”(Article 48-A). • It is the fundamental duty of every citizen to protect & improve the natural environment including forests,lakes,rivers & wildlife & to have compassion for living creatures.Article 51-A,Part 4-A,42 CA(1976) .

Environmental Legislation in General & legislation concerning power sector General: • Environmental (Protection) Act 1986 & Environmental (Protection) rules 1986. Notifications issued under this act -Coal Regulation Zone Notification (1991) -Dhanu Taluka Notification(1991) -Doon Valley Notification(1989) -Revdanda Creek Notification(1989) -Disposal of flyash Notification(1999) .

-Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Cess Act.1977 & Rules 1978.1974 & Rules 1975.-Taj Trapezium Notification(1998) -Ash Content Notification(1997) -The Environment Impact Assessment of Development projects notification (1994) as amended in 1997. . • Water -Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act .

1980 & Rules 1981. -Wildlife (Protection) Act .1973.• Air -Air (Prevention & control of Pollution) Act.1972.1981.Rules 1982 & Amendment 1987.Rules. • Forests & Wildlife -Forests ( Conservation) Act. • Other Legislation .

• Contains a comprehensive list of 29 Categories of industries involving use of hazardous processes & chemicals.1991 -Factories Act1948.1997 -Public Liability Insurance Act. .1987 -National Environment Tribunal Act .Amendment.1995 1. Factories Act.1948: • India's First post independence law that shows explicit concern for environment.-National Environment Appellate Authority Act.

• This act was India's first attempt to deal with an environment issue in a comprehensive manner. 2. • Factories act after amendment in 1987 & Industries development regulation act)1957 between them encompasses almost all of the the industrial processes.• Hazardous substance& process is one which can impairment to health of a person engaged & result in the pollution of the general environment. .Water (Prevention & Control of pollution) Act 1974 & Rules1975.

• They were supposed to implement water act in centre and states respectively. • CPCB & SPCB were established in 1974 under water act. .• Water act provides for regulating water pollution through command & control • Effluent discharge standards are established & persons whose discharge exceed the standards are subject to fine & imprisonment( RS 5000 fine or 3 months imprisonment or both).

• Later in 1981. . Central pollution control board (CPCB): • • • • It has the following Functions Promotion of clean rivers.streams.wells & other water bodies . Laying down standards for water & air quality Ensuring compliance with environment protection acts.when the air act came into force.the powers of CPCB & SPCB were expanded to include enforcement of AIR ACT as well. Planning & execution of programs for prevention & control of air/water pollution.

3. .Water(Prevention & control of pollution) Cess act 1977: • Provides for a levy & collection of cess on water consumed by schedule 1 industries. • It aims to augment the resources of CPCB & SPCB for pollution abatement measures.State Pollution Control Boards (SPCB): • They have functions similar to CPCB but their functional jurisdiction lies with in their respective states.

• State Pollution control boards have to make available reports to complaining citizen. • It was amended in 1974 in 1988 & was brought in tune with Envn.” . • But Under a special discretionary power clause .SPCBs can refuse to do so . public can approach court on violation of this act.Critical appraisal of the Water Act: • Water is a subject in state list. Protection Act 1986. • Section 49 of the act. • There is a conflict between the two acts when they both come into play together.The act came into force in 1974.if it thinks disclosures would harm “Public Interest.

• The act is enforced by CPCB & SPCB. Air pollution ( Prevention & Control of pollution Act 1981) • Enacted under article 253 of the constitution which gives power to the central government to make laws to implement decision of international conferences.executive functions are carried out in states by the respective SPCBs . • Although a central act .4.

• Declaration of certain areas as pollution free zones. • SPCB can restrict the operation of certain industrial plants & can issue consent orders on certain prescribed plants(Necessary for abatement of pollution) .• Under this act pollution is sought to be combated by setting of air quality standards by CPCB & SPCB. • Prohibiting use of pollution causing fuel • Prohibiting use of appliances that lead to air pollution. • Banning use of pollution causing fuel.

there is a 3 months imprisonment or a fine of 10000 or both. .on violation of air act .has to install control equipment.CPCB & SPCB have got the power to order closure.• A person who has obtained consent .electricity to such industries. • The Air act has been amended in 1987. • Section 39-46:Penal provisions.stop/regulate the supply of water. • Continuos violation there will be an additional fine of Rs 5000 every day.

1986.5. • There is a blanket ban on carrying out any industrial activity inside any of these protected areas.Government of India enacted the EP act.(1986) : • Bhopal gas tragedy . .Wild life (Protection ) Act 1972: • It empowers the central & state government to declare any area as a national park or a wild life reserve. 6. • Its an umbrella environmental legislation.Environment protection act .

. microorganisms & property.animals. • Section 2 (b) :Environment-Includes water .1986 • Section 2 gives various definitions.plants.air & land & their interrelationships with human beings.• Provides a framework to the central government to coordinate various central & state authorities established under Air act 1981 & Water act 1974. Important sections of the EPA .

• Section 2 (e): Occupier -a person who has control over factory/industrial premises.plants. • Section 2 (d): Hazardous substance: Any substance which due to its chemical/physiochemical properties/handling is liable to cause harm to human beings .living creatures. .liquid or gaseous substance present in such concentration that they are injurious to the environment.• Section 2 (c) :Environment pollution :Any solid .microorganisms & environment.

• To set standards for controlling emissions & effluent discharges. • To regulate industrial locations.(Min of envn & forests).• Section 3: Central Government is authorized • To Set new national standards for envn. Quality. .

. • States can also establish more stringent emission /discharge standards based on the quality of the recipient system than having uniform standards. pollution • Envn. Standards can be different for different areas & allowable levels of pollutants should be such that they protect public health & welfare. • To establish safeguards for preventing accidents.• To prescribe procedures for managing hazardous wastes. • To collect & disseminate information regarding envn.

1986 & has adopted Industry specific standards for effluent discharge & emissions for 24 designated industries.Section 5: • Central government can issue directions in writing too any officer. • Section 6:Ministry of envn.authority. & forest is responsible for making rules to implement EPA . • Thermal power plants are also in this list. .

Section 7: • Emissions/discharge of pollutants in excess of above standards is prohibited. •Section 9:Furnishing of information in cases where discharge of a pollutant occurs in excess of prescribed standards. . • Even where there is an apprehension of such a occurrence owner should intimate CPCB & SPCB as the case may be & should help the regulator counter it. • All the expenses in undertaking remedial measures are to be recovered from the polluter.

• Section 11:Power to take samples of air . • * Chairman .soil & any other substance from /near the factory premises.water .SPCB. • Section 12: Samples collected are sent to the notified lab for analysis. .members or a designated officers of CPCB.• Section 10: Power of search & entry given to designated officers* • This is for determining the infringement of standards & procedures under EPA 1986.

Section 18: Protection of action taken in good faith..Section 15: Penal provision provides for a term extendable upto 5 yrs / fine of 1 lakh or both.State govt. or an authority or even a citizen who has given atleast 60 days notice. . Section 19 ( Citizen suit):Court can take cognizance of a complaint made by Central govt. • In case of repeated offences there can be additional fine of Rs 5000 for each day of violation.

1 Coastal Regulation Zone Notification or CRZ 1991 :  The central government has declared coastal stretches of seas .Environment Laws & Power Sector Several notifications have been issued under the EPA 1986.bays.for intake of cooling water& for discharge of wastewater in CRZ.  Thermal Power Plants require environment clearance from MOEF. .estuaries.which relates to power sector.creeks.  Dumping of flyash or any wastes from thermal power plants in the CRZ is prohibited.rivers & backwaters & backwaters on both side of high & low tide line as coastal regulation zone.

2 Dhanu Taluka Notification(1991):  Dhanu taluka in district thane in Maharashtra has been declared as ecologically fragile & thermal power plants are not permitted to be set up there. 3 Doon Valley Notification:  This prohibits setting up of any thermal power plant or any industry in Doon area where daily consumption of coal is more than 24 Mt/day. . 4 Revdanda Creek Notification(1989):  No industries & power plants can be setup near Revdanda Creek & one km on either side of it.

free of cost.This will ensure that Taj is protected from all harmful effluents & pollutants.geographical limits of the Taj Trapezium has been defined between 26 d 45’N & 77 d 15’& 27 d 45’N & 77 d 15’ around the Tajmahal.for the manufacture of ash-based products.5 Taj Trapeium notification (1998):  Under this notification.  No power plant can be set up in this limit. .  A Taj Trapezium pollution( Prevention & control ) authority has been set up under this act.  Disposal of flyash notification (1999):  Salient features of this notification are :  Every coal/lignite based power plant shall make available ash for atleast 10 years.

clearance.  PWD .  Central & state government. No body with in a radius of 50 km from coal based TPP can manufacture clay bricks and tiles without using atleast 25% of flyash.Housing boards shall increasingly use fly ash for the manufacturing & construction activities.SEBs.  New power plants will get envn.only if it submits & implements successfully a plan for the full utilization of flyash. .NTPC & the management of of the thermal power plants shall facilitate full utilization of fly ash.  All local authorities shall specify in their respective building bye laws & regulations the use of fly ash & ash based products.

sensitive area or critically polluted area.not exceeding 34%:  TPP located beyond 1000 km from the Pithead. clearance for 29 activities in Schedule 1 of this notification .But now it is mandatory & a statutory requirement to obtain envn.6 Ash content Notification(1997):  Following is a list of thermal power plants which shall use beneficated coal with an ash content .irrespective of its distance from the pit head.clearance from MOEF was only an administrative requirement.  TPP located in an urban area. 7 The environment Impact Assessment Of development Projects Notification(1994):  Earlier obtaining an envn.

.No tight framework but siting is decided on the merits of the case.Some predefined norms are how ever there which are applied for all siting of all thermal power plants  The site /chimney should not fall with in the approach funnel of the run away of the nearest airport. Thermal & hydro plants come in this schedule. .  There is two stage clearance for site specific projects like pit head thermal power plants & river valley projects Thermal power plants clearance:  Stage 1: It involves site clearance.

-Defense installations -Archaeological sites of national importance . The site should be atleast 500 meters away from the flood plains of riverine systems.  EIA should focus on the environment impact of TPP on -Metropolitan cities -National parks & wild life sanctuaries -Ecologically sensitive areas like tropical forests.biosphere reserves & coastal areas.  The site should be atleast half a kilometer away from high ways & the main railway line.

No objection certificate from State Forest Department if forest land involved  Rehabilitation plan for displaced people  Consent to establish from SPCB (regarding effluents and emissions)  Report on impacts on the environment during construction  Collection of ambient air quality and meteorological data  Report on hydrology and water quality .• Stage 2:Follows Site Clearance & submission of EIA report  Description of site. site map  Land requirements.

. Air Act. Report on occupational safety and health  Details of transport and handling of raw material  Report of impact on sensitive terrestrial targets • Post commission requirements:  After the thermal power plant has been commissioned the following facts are relevant  Provision for disposal of solid wastes (fly ash)  Carry out the rehabilitation of the displaced population  Monitor emissions and effluents & obtain consent to operate under the Water Act.  Comply with the standards laid down CPCB/SPCB.

      Apply for renewal of consent after expiry of specified period Submit water cess return at regular intervals to SPCB Submit an environmental statement to SPCB every year Precautionary measures for occupational health and safety Preparedness for emergency situations Provide for green belt of 50-1000 m • Hydro power Plants: While identifying a site for a hydroelectric power plant and making an EIA report.the following are considered: Location aspects  Impact of the project on biodiversity .

groundwater level.      Impact on archeological/religious sites Catchment area and treatment of degraded catchment Pre-impoundment census of endangered biodiversity Impact on land use pattern. mineral resources. Impact on living conditions of affected people in the submergence area Approval from the state forest department if forest areas involved Physical aspects  Possibility of occurrence of landslides on periphery of reservoir  Siltation  Potential seismic impact .

 Expected water quality over time and impact of the same on biodiversity  Resource linkage Aspects  Loss of optional land use  Mineral deposit loss  Forest reserve/biodiversity loss  Monuments inundated Socio-cultural aspects  Population displacement  Resettlement dynamics .

Measures to salvage endangered species/monuments Public health measures Catchment area treatment/soil conservation measures Rehabilitation and resettlement of affected people . Public Health Aspects  Issue of new health problems or vector patterns that may arise due to physical  Change factors caused by water impoundment Cost Benefit Analysis        For compensatory afforestation Restoration of land in construction areas Control of aquatic weeds in submerged area .

. After the project is given Envn..  Project authorities have to submit semi annual compliance reports to MOEF.cooling tower & the colony.  Stringent standards have been prescribed for discharge of hot water into the downstream water bodies.  Very strict monitoring of temperature of the water bodies is done. Miscellaneous Provisions:  Under the water act .Cases of non compliance are brought to the notice of ministry by its appraisal committee for appropriate action.Clearance a set of recommendations are given by an appraisal committee.the EIA for setting up of a thermal power plant is to include the details of the source & total requirement of water required for the plant.

 CPCB & SPCB monitors it & can issue directions to the management to take steps for the reduction of pollution levels.  We measure ambient air quality after the project is operational. .wild life sanctuaries & national parks except under some very special circumstances .prior concurrence of MOEF has to be obtained for laying down transmission lines in a forest area  A blanket ban exists on setting up of power plants in forested areas .  Under the forest act 1980. Under Air act.  CPCB/SPCB prescribes standards for stack height of thermal power plants.Nox & SPM levels) before establishing the plant .in which central government has discretionary powers.we measure ambient air quality(Sox.

 Location of energy generation projects based on environmental considerations including pollution. and waste utilization. displacement of people and loss of biodiversity .GOI 2002):  Environmental impact assessment prior to investment decisions and site  Selection & choice of practicable clean technologies for energy production. treatment and disposal of solid wastes.effluents and emissions.Draft policy for sustainable energy generation (MOP.

. human excreta and vegetable wastes. and  Setting up of biogas plants based on cow dung.  Concerted efforts for development and propagation of non conventional . power and transportation.  Incentives and measures (including proper pricing) to prevent abuse and to  promote the use of energy efficient devices in the production and distribution systems and for energy conservation in all sectors including households.renewable energy generation systems. industry. agriculture. Decentralize small projects for meeting rural energy needs  incentives for use of non-conventional energy sources.

than it is desirable not to carry ou that action. Friendly Principle have been Recognized by Supreme court in its land mark judgements. .India Moves Ahead The following Envn. Polluter Pays Principle:     Polluter of Environment must Pay for Cost of pollution abatement Cost of Environment recovery compensation costs to victims of damages if any Precautionary Principle: If consequences of an action are unknown & uncertain but if some reputed scientists & environmentalist think that the consequences can be negative.

Innovative Solutions     Imposition of Carbon tax Imposition of Emission Tax Ex.Norway & Denmark .Nox & SPMs Such taxes exist in Sweden. Emission Tax on Sox.