Pollution control acts and regulations of India
Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Transcripts - Pollution control acts and regulations of India
M.TECH CHEMICAL ENGINEERING
KONGU ENGINEERING COLLEGE
*In 1976, when the Indian parliament passed the 42nd
amendment to its constitution safeguarding the environment,
it became the first country in the world to do so.
*The amendment was to “endeavor to protect and improve the
environment and to safeguard the forests and wild life of the
*It imposes a duty on every Indian citizen “to protect and
improve the natural environment including forests, lakes,
rivers, and wild life, and to have compassion for living
*According to the Environment Protection Act of 1986,
Environment is that which includes the “inter-relationship
which exists among and between water, air, and land and
human beings, other living creatures, plants, micro-organism
1. The Water (Prevention &Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, and its
2. The Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Cess Act, 1974
and its amendments
3. The Air (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 and its
4. The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 and its amendments
(a) National Environmental Tribunal Act of 1995 and
(b) National Environmental Appellate Authority Act of 1997
5. Hazardous Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, July 1989
6. The Public Liability Insurance Act, 1991.
The Public Liability Insurance Act 1991 has been included as
the sixth environmental regulation because it is the first regulation
which gives some teeth to the other five pollution regulations
*It was the Water Act of 1974 which established a Central
Pollution Board and a State Pollution Control Board.
*Subsequently, the same Boards have been given the
power to govern all the pollution regulations passed
since then and any other to be put in regulations in the
*Pollution Boards are to be headed by a Chairman and a
few members who are all appointed.
*The Chairman as well as the Board members are
appointed by the respective governments.
*The members to be appointed to the Boards are to be
selected from various interest groups such as
Corporations, Public Health Engineering, Agriculture,
Forestry, Fishery, etc.
*Basic purpose of these Boards are to advise their
respective governments on any matter concerning the
prevention and control of pollution in their area of
*The Central Board coordinates as well as oversees all
the other State Boards and their functions.
*To implement any environmental pollution control act,
the Board has the power to obtain information “make
surveys of any area and gauge and keep records of the
flow of volume of the stream.” It has the power to take
samples, analyze any matter from the industry.
*The Boards also have the authority to establish or
recognize any laboratory for chemical analytical work.
*The purpose of this act is “to provide for the prevention and
control of water pollution and the maintenance or restoring
wholesomeness of water for the establishment, with a view
to carrying out the purpose of aforesaid of Boards for the
prevention and control of water pollution, for conferring on
and assigning to such Boards powers and functions relating
thereto and for matters connected therewith.”
*This is the Act that established the Central and a State Board
and also the authority and power to constitute as many
committees as it feels essential to carry out specific functions
*The Act specifically prohibits “any poisonous, noxious or
polluting matter’ into any stream or well.
* A consent from the State Board is required for any type of
new discharge into any new stream or well.
*This also includes consent for “temperature” discharges as
done by cooling tower users.
*In general, this means that a State consent or permit is
required for all types of intake and/or discharge of any type
of liquid or water either from a running stream or well.
*Under these rules, “effluent standards to be complied with by
persons while causing discharge of sewage or silage or both”
have been specified. Standards for small scale industries have
been specified separately.
*Penalties for non-compliance with the permit or polluting in
any way are imprisonment for three months and fine of Rs.
10,000 or fine up to Rs. 5,000 per day of violation or both
plus any 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 direction of the Board” or
for “damages to any work or property of the Board.”
*There are penalties also which extend up to seven years plus
other monetary fines for other similar offenses.
*Any “director, manager, secretary or other officer of the
company may also be deemed to be guilty” if proved that the
offense occurred with their “consent or connivance.” In case
of the government, department head could be held liable.
*The central as well as the state government can start a lab to
do analysis on samples of water or of sewage or trade
effluents for tests.
* A fee will be charged for these services.
*The law can also stop or restrain a person from discharging
any pollutant to any stream or well “which is likely to cause
such pollution from so causing.”
*Imprisonment up to three months and a fine up to Rs. 10,000
for every day of violation during which such failure continues
after the conviction for first such offense.
*This law provides for the levy and collection of a Cess on water
consumed by persons carrying on certain industries and by local
authorities, with a view to augment the resources of the Central
and State Boards for the prevention and control of water pollution
constituted under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution)
*Industries were specified in Schedule I. They are:
1. Ferrous: Metallurgical industry
2. Non-Ferrous: Metallurgical industry
3. Mining industry
4. Ore processing industry
5. Petroleum industry
6. Petro-chemical industry
7. Chemical industry
8. Ceramic industry
9. Cement industry
10. Textile industry
11. Paper industry
12. Fertilizer industry
13. Coal (including coke) industry
14. Power (thermal and diesel)
15. Processing of animal or vegetable
*Collection of Cess was based on the quantity of water consumed.
The State government had the authority to collect the Cess from
*The purpose of which water is consumed follows:
*Under Rule 6, industry-wise maximum quantity of water usage
allowed has been specified.
S.No Purpose for which water is
Maximum Rate Under Sub
Section 2A of Section 3
1. Industrial Cooling, spraying in
mine pits or boiler feed
Two and one fourth of a paisa
per kilo litter (One US penny
equals about thirty
six Indian paisa)
2. Domestic purpose Three paisa per kilo litter
3. Processing whereby water gets
polluted and the pollutants are
Seven and one half paisa per
4. Processing whereby water gets
polluted and the pollutants are
not easily bio-degradable and
Nine and a half paisa per
*This Act was passed for the “prevention, control and
abatement of air pollution.”
*This law defined an air pollutant as “any solid, liquid or
gaseous substance present in the atmosphere in such
concentration as may be or tend to be injurious to human
beings or other living creatures or plants or property or
*In this Act, power to declare air pollution, control areas has
been given to the state government after consulting the State
Board. By this, it may control or even prohibit burning of
certain materials in those specific areas.
*This Act requires approval prior to operating any
*Government may suggest “control equipment” prior to giving
its consent to any industry for its operation.
*It may include chimney etc. In case there is any new
technology for emission control, then the Board may insist on
this to being installed. Standards specific to industries have
*Penalties were for a minimum of six months imprisonment to
a maximum of seven years and fine up to Rs. 5,000 for every
day during which contravention continues after conviction for
the first such contravention.
*This law makes it clear that when offenses are committed by
a company, its director, manager, secretary or other officers
could be held guilty and punished accordingly.
*The Act was enacted to “provide for the protection and
improvement of environment and for matters connected
*This act defined environment which includes “water, air, and
land and the inter-relationship which exists among and
between “water, air and land, and human beings, other living
creatures, plants, micro-organisms and property.”
*It also defined a hazardous substance as “any substance or
preparation which, by reason of its chemical or physics-
chemical properties, or handling, is liable to cause harm to
human beings, other living creatures, plants, microorganisms,
property or the environment.”
*This law enlists general powers of the central government
which included “all such measures as it deems necessary or
expedient for the purpose of protecting and improving the
quality of the environment and preventing, controlling and
abating environmental pollution.”
*The law also included “the standards of quality of air, water,
or soil for various areas and purposes, the maximum
allowable limits of concentration of various environmental
pollutants procedures and safeguards for the handling of
*The Act also deals with prevention, control and abatement of
environmental pollution by specifying the restrictions allowed
to the discharge or emit any environmental pollutant in
excess of such standards as may be prescribed.
*Nor is anyone allowed to handle hazardous substances except
“as may be prescribed.” In case of discharge of excess of any
material the industry must forthwith.
*Under Section 3(1) and Rule 5(3)(d) of this Act, Coastal
Regulation Zone (CRZ) have been declared and which
restrictions on industries and processes have been imposed.
*This restricts setting up or expansion of any industry. “(a)
Intimate the fact of such occurrence or (b) be bound, if
called upon, to render all assistance, to such authorities or
*This law requires that all companies must have some sort of a
Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasures Plan (SPCC).
*Environmental auditing is required by this law starting in
1993. This report is to be submitted to the State Pollution
*The law indicates that the government may “recognize one or
more lab as environmental lab to carry out tests, etc.”
*Penalty for contravention of the act may be punishable by
imprisonment up to seven years or fine up to Rs 1 lakh (One
lakh equals one hundred thousand). Additional fine of up to
Rs 5,000 for every day of violation
*The National Environmental Tribunal Act of 1995 was
enacted to provide for strict liability for damages arising
out of any accident occurring while handling any hazardous
*For the establishment of a National Environment Tribunal
for effective and expeditious disposal of cases arising from
such accidents, with a view to giving relief and
compensation for damages to persons, property and the
environment and for matters connected therewith or
*This Act has been enacted to “hear appeals with respect to
restriction of areas in which any industries, operations or processes
or class of industries, operations or process shall not be carried out
or shall be carried out subject to certain safeguards under the
Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 and for matters connected
therewith or incidental thereto.”
*According to Section 12 of the Act the Authority shall not be bound
by the procedure laid down in the code of civil procedure, 1908,
but shall be guided by the principles of natural justice.
*Subject to the other provisions of this Act and of any rules made by
Central Government, the Authority shall have power to regulate its
own procedure, including the fixing of places and times of its
enquiry and deciding whether to sit in public or private.
*Also, with the effect from the date of establishment of the
Authority, no civil court or other authority shall have jurisdiction to
entertain any appeal in respect of any matter with which the
Authority is empowered by or under this Act.
*The Ministry of Environment and Forests came out with Wastes
(Management and Handling) Rules, July 1989 under the Environment
(Protection) Act, 1986.
*The main purpose for promulgation of these Rules was for
management and handling of hazardous substances.
*The basis of any environmental pollution has been the generation
and disposal of hazardous substances.
*To regulate them, all the above regulations have been promulgated.
*Proper disposal is probably the most important aspect of any
*For this reason, guidelines have been issued under this set of rules.
1. Guidelines for Occupier/Generator of Hazardous Wastes
2. Guidelines for Transportation of Hazardous Waste
3. Guidelines for Owner/Operator of Hazardous Waste,
Storage, Treatment and Disposal Facility
*The purpose of this Act is “to provide for public liability insurance
for the purpose of providing immediate relief to the persons
affected by accident occurring while handling any hazardous
substance and for matters connected therewith or incidental
*The Act defines an “accident” as involving a fortuitous, sudden or
unintentional occurrence while handling any hazardous substance
resulting in continuous damage to any property but does not include
an accident by reason only of war or radioactivity.
*For the first time, this Act holds the owner liable for death or injury
to any person, damage to any property resulting from an accident.
*The “claimant shall not be required to plead and establish that
death, injury or damage in respect of which the claim has been
made was due to any wrongful act. neglect or default of any
*Only Workman has been excluded from this Act as he is covered
under the Workmen’s Compensation Act, 1923 (8 of 1923).
*The Owner is required to take out insurance policies so that
he can give relief under sub-section (1) of section 3.
*This insurance is required within a period of one year from
*Minimum amount of insurance is the paid-up capital of the
undertaking handling any hazardous substance or Rs. 5 Crores
*Penalty for not taking insurance coverage is imprisonment for
one year and six months and fine of not less than one lakh
rupees or both.
*Under this Act, Environment Relief Fund has been
established. This fund may be used in case of any emergency.
*Non-compliance is punishable by 3 months imprisonment or
fine which may extend to Rupees ten thousand or both.
*Medical expenses are also payable under this Act.
*This Act provides for immediate relief of Rs. 25,000 per
person in case of death and Rs. 12,500 in case of injury to be
*This amount is payable by the insurance coverage of the
spiller or the company where the accident has occurred.
*Additional compensation, if any, will have to be settled
*List of chemicals with quantities for Application of Public
Liability Insurance Act are specified.
*It also lists chemicals which are extremely hazardous.
To combat this increasing pollution from vehicles, new and tougher
auto standards are being enforced.
The Environment (Pollution) Rules, 1986 contain these regulations.
1. The standards recommended during idling for all four wheeled
petrol driven vehicles for carbon monoxide shall not exceed 3
percent by volume.
2. Idling carbon monoxide emission limit for all two and three
wheeled petrol driven vehicles shall not exceed 4.5 percent by
3. Cars with mass less than 1,020 kg. load on the axle will be
permitted to emit a maximum of five grams of carbon monoxide
4. The combined emission of nitrous oxide and hydro carbons shall
not exceed 2 grams per kilometer.
5. The above standards are for petrol driven vehicles only.
For diesel driven vehicles, the regulations are different.
1. For all medium and heavy diesel vehicles with capacity over
3.5 tons, they should not emit more than 11.2 grams. of
carbon monoxide per kilowatt hour (kWh) equivalent
burning of fuel.
2. The maximum permissible levels for nitrous oxide and hydro
carbons are 14.4 and 2.4 grams. per kWh.
*The Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India
now also issues the ECOMARK notifications.
*They are issued to consumer products that meet certain
Indian Standards Institute guidelines.
*The product should be friendly to the environment.
1. Nuclear Power and related projects such as Heavy Water Plants,
Nuclear Fuel Complex, Rare Earths.
2. River Valley projects including hydro power, major irrigation and
their combination including flood control.
3. Ports, Harbors, Airports (except minor ports and harbors).
4. Petroleum Refineries including crude and product pipelines.
5. Chemical Fertilizers (Nitrogenous and Phosphates other than
single super phosphate).
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 LLDPE, HDPE, PP, PVC.
8. Bulk drugs and pharmaceuticals.
9. Exploration for oil and gas and their production, transportation
11. Asbestos and Asbestos products.
12. Hydrocyanic acid and its derivatives
13. (i) Primary metallurgical industries (such as production of Iron and
Steel, Aluminum, Copper Zinc, Lead and Ferro Alloys) and also
(ii) Electric arc furnaces (Mini Steel Plants).
11. Chlor-alkali industry.
12. Integrated paint complex including manufacture of resins and basic
raw materials required in the manufacture of paints.
13. Viscose Staple fiber and filament yarn.
14. Storage batteries integrated with manufacture of oxides of lead and
lead antimony alloys.
15. All tourism projects between 200m - 500 meters of High Water Lin
and at locations with an elevation of more than 1,000 Meters with
investment of more than Rs. 5 Crores.
16. Thermal Power Plants.
17. Mining Projects (major minerals) with leases more than 5 hectares.
22.Tarred Roads in Himalayan and or Forest areas.
24.Raw Skins and Hides.
25.Pulp, Paper and newsprint,