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Environmental Acts affecting the Indian cement industry

World Cement,


This article has been abridged from the original, which featured in the October 2013 issue of World Cement. Read part one of this article here.

The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act

The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act (referred to as the Water Act) was enacted in 1974 and amended in 1988. Every cement plant has to obtain the consent to establish/operate from the respective SPCB at the commissioning stage and during subsequent years of production for its plant and mine operations under section 25 and 26 of the Water Act 1974. The consent is granted for a specified period and must be renewed before it lapses by submitting a report showing compliance with the conditions of the Act.

The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Cess Act

The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Cess Act (referred to as the Cess Act) was enacted in 1977 to provide for the levy and collection of a tax on water consumed by persons operating and carrying out certain types of industrial activities. This is collected with a view to augment the resources of the Central Board and the State Boards for the prevention and control of water pollution constituted under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974. The Act was last amended in 2003. Every cement plant has to submit the annual returns of water consumption to the respective SPCB and pay tax on the basis of water consumption.

The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act

The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act (referred to as the Air Act) was enacted in 1981 and amended in 1987 to provide for the prevention, control and abatement of air pollution in India. Air pollutant is any solid, liquid, gaseous substance including noise in the atmosphere in such concentrations as may be injurious to human beings or other living creatures, plants, property or the environment. The Act is similar to that of the Water Act in structure and principle. Every cement plant has to obtain consent to establish/operate from the respective SPCBs at the commissioning stage and during subsequent years of production for its plant and quarry operations under section 21 of the Air Act 1981. The consent is granted by SPCBs for a specified period and is renewed on submission of a compliance report. Under section 22 of this act, emissions from industrial activity should not exceed prescribed limits.

The Forest (Conservation) Act

The Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980, amended in 1988, was enacted to restrict the indiscriminate diversion of forest land to non-forest purposes. Under this act, prior approval of central government is required before any reserved forest is declared as de-reserved or diverted to non-forest purposes. If diversion is permitted, compensatory forestation is insisted upon and other suitable conditions imposed where non-forest lands are not available. For the cement industry, when any forest area is diverted for mining activity, the provisions of the Forest Act must be implemented. Proper compensatory afforestation is required as per the conditions of this act.

The Environment (Protection) Act

The Environment (Protection) Act was enacted in 1986 with the objective of providing for the protection and improvement of the environment. It empowers the central government with the mandate of preventing environmental pollution in all its forms and to tackle specific environmental problems that are peculiar to different parts of the country. The powers conferred by the Environment Protection Act and its subsequent amendments are followed under the headings given below:

  • Coastal regulation zone.
  • Environmental clearance – general.
  • Eco-marks scheme.
  • Eco-sensitive zone.
  • Environmental labs.
  • Environmental standards.
  • Hazardous substances management.
  • Loss of ecology.
  • Noise pollution.
  • Water pollution.
  • Ozone layer depletion.

Hazardous Waste (Management, Handling and Transboundary Movement) Rules

Hazardous Waste (Management, Handling and Transboundary Movement) Rules – 2008 (referred to as HW (MHTM) rules), under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, superseded the Hazardous Wastes (Management & Handling) Rules, 1989 and its subsequent amendments. Every cement plant has to obtain authorisation from the respective SPCBs at the commissioning stage and seek renewal of authorisation during subsequent years of production for its plant and quarry operations under HW (MHTM) Rules 2008. The authorisation for collection, handling, treatment, storage, transport and disposal of hazardous waste in cement plants and mines is granted by SPCBs for a specified period and must be renewed with submission of a compliance report.

The article continues in part three, here.

This article is abridged from the original, which was included as ‘Keynote: Environmental Regulations in India’ in the October 2013 issue. The issue is available for subscribers to download by signing in here.

Read the article online at: https://www.worldcement.com/asia-pacific-rim/09102013/environmental_regulations_in_indian_cement_industry2_274/


 

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