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Frequently Asked Questions
What are the important Environmental Laws in the country?
  • Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974;
  • Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981,
  • Cess Act, 1977, - Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 and Rules there under
  • Public Liability Insurance Act, 1981,
  • National Environmental Tribunal Act, 1995
  • National Environment Appellate Authority Act, 1997
What are the different programes/activities implemented through State Pollution Control Board?

State Boards are implementing following programmes

  • Pollution control in 17 categories of highly polluting industries
  • Pollution control from industries discharging waste water into rivers and lakes
  • Inventorization of pollution industries in the State and ensuring their compliance to the Pollution control norms
  • Restoration of environmental quality in critically polluted areas
  • Monitoring of water and ambient air quality in the States
  • Hazardous waste
  • Bio-medical and Management of Municipal Solid Wastes
What steps have been taken to control vehicular pollution?

Major initiatives taken to control vehicular pollution include the following

  • Emission Standards for Tractors : Emission norms for tractors were notified on 8.9.1999 under the Central Motor Vehicle Rules is effective from 1.10.1999.
  • India 2000 Emission Norms akin to Euro-I Norms: Emission norms known as India 2000 akin to Euro I norms was notified on 28.8.1997 under the Central Motor Vehicle Rules is effective from 1.4.2000 for the entire country, required major modifications in the engine designs.
What are sources of water pollution and wastewater generation scenario?

It is estimated that 75% to 80% of water pollution by volume is caused by domestic sewage. The major industries causing water pollution include: distilleries, sugar, textile, electroplating, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, pulp & paper mills, tanneries, dyes and dye intermediates, petro-chemicals, steel plants etc. Non-point sources such as fertilizer and pesticide run-offs in rural areas also cause pollution. Only 60% of chemical fertilizers are utilized in soils and the balance is leached into soil polluting the ground water. Excess phosphate run-off leads to eutrophication in lakes and water bodies.

How many critically polluted areas have been identified?

The Central Pollution Control Board in consultation with State Pollution Control Boards has identified 24 areas in the country as critically polluted areas. These are: Bhadravati (Karnataka), Chembur (Maharashtra), Digboi (Assam), Govindgarh (Punjab), Greater Cochin (Kerala), Kala-Amb (Himachal Pradesh), Parwanoo (Himachal Pradesh), Korba (Madhya Pradesh), Manali (Tamil Nadu), North Arcot (Tamil Nadu), Pali (Rajasthan), Talcher (Orissa), Vapi (Gujarat), Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh), Dhanbad (Bihar), Durgapur (West Bengal), Howrah (West Bengal), Jodhpur (Rajasthan), Nagda- Ratlam (Madhya Pradesh), Najafgarh Drain (Delhi), Patancheru Bollaram (Andhra Pradesh), Singrauli (Uttar Pradesh), Ankleshwar (Gujarat), Tarapur (Maharashtra)

Is there any legal and institutional framework to check pollution in the country?

Yes Sir, India has prepared pollution abatement strategy which include the legal framework and the Environment Authorities.

Environment Authorities :
In addition to Pollution Control Boards, 6 Environmental Authorities have been constituted under the Environment (Protection) Act 1986, including the National Environment Appellate Authority. These are :

  • The Central Ground Water Authority - Aqua Culture Authority
  • Dahanu Taluka Environment (Protection) Authority
  • Environment Pollution (Prevention & Control) Authority for National Capital Region of Delhi
  • Loss of Ecology (Prevention and Payment of Compensation) Authority for State of Tamil Nadu.
  • National Environment Appellate Authority,1997
What are the measures for control of noise pollution?

Ambient standards in respect of noise for different categories of areas (residential, commercial, industrial) and silence zones have been notified under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986. Noise limits have been prescribed for automobiles, domestic appliances and construction equipment at the manufacturing stage. Standards have been evolved and notified for the gen sets, fire crackers and coal mines. Regulatory agencies have been directed to enforce the standards for control and regulate noise pollution.

What are the steps taken to control vehicular pollution?

The following steps are taken:

  • Establishment of Ambient Air Quality Monitoring throughout India
  • Notification of Ambient Air Quality Standards under Environment (Protection) Act.
  • Notification of vehicular emission norms for year 1990-91,1996, 1998, 2000, 2001
  • Improving fuel quality by phasing out lead from gasoline, reducing diesel sulphur, reducing gasoline benzene, and etc.
  • Introduction of alternate fuelled vehicles like CNG/LPG.
  • Improvement of public transport system.
  • Phasing out of grossly polluting commercial vehicles.
  • Public awareness & campaigns.
What is the impact of the steps to Ambient Air Quality?

Impacts of the steps taken in Delhi: All regulatory pollutants show a decreasing trend in concentrations in Delhi. CO decreased to 3069 ug/m3 in 2000-2001 from 5450 ug/m3 in 1998. NO2 decreased from 75 ug/m3 in 1996 to 59 ug/m3 in 2000. Lead which is harmful especially for children, decreased remarkably due to phasing out of lead from gasoline. Another critical pollutant RSPM also shows a decreasing trend in Delhi.

What steps have been taken to control noise pollution due to fire crackers?

The Govt. of India has enacted noise standards for fire-crackers vide G.S.R.682(E), dated 5th October, 1999, in an effort to control noise pollution due to fire crackers Recently in March 2001, Central Pollution Control Board in association with National Physical Laboratory (NPL), Delhi initiated a study on measurement of noise levels of fire-crackers available in the market. The study indicates that 95% of the fire-crackers samples exceed the prescribed noise limits. Consequently, CPCB issued notice under Section 5, of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 to the Department of Explosives, Nagpur, to take immediate steps to control manufacturing of fire-crackers exceeding the prescribed limits. All the State Pollution Control Boards/Committees were also requested to initiate steps to control sale of fire-crackers exceeding the notified limits, in consultation with their respective local administrations.

What steps have been taken to control noise pollution due to loud-speakers?

The Govt. of India has enacted Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000 vide S.O.123(E), dated 14th February, 2000. The Rule deals with provisions to control noise pollution due to loud-speakers and public address system, as given below :
Restriction on the use of loud speakers/utility address system :

  • A loud speaker or a public address system shall not be used except after obtaining written permission from the authority.
  • A loud speaker or a public address system shall not be used at night (between 10.00 p.m. to 6.00 p.m.) except in closed premises for communication within e.g. auditoria, conference rooms, community halls and banquet halls.
What steps have been taken to control noise pollution from generator sets?

The Central Pollution Control Board, in association with the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, had developed systems for control of noise pollution from diesel generator sets as well as from petrol/kerosene generator sets. Based on this, the noise standards for diesel and petrol/kerosene generator sets have been developed and notified

What steps have been taken to control noise pollution in the country?
  • Ambient noise standards were notified in 1989, which formed the basis for State Pollution Control Boards to initiate action against violating sources.
  • The vehicular noise standards, notified in 1990, are being implemented by Ministry of Science and Technology, to reduce traffic noise. These standards have been made more stringent vide a notification in September 2000 and will be effective from January, 2003.
  • Noise standards for diesel genset were prescribed in Dec. 1998. Govt. has been pursuing with State Pollution Control Boards, generator manufacturing and major users, for implementation of these standards. Presently these standards are being revised (the MoEF is in the process of issuing notification) making it mandatory for all generator manufacturers to provide acoustic enclosure at the manufacturing stage itself. This will have a major impact on noise from DG sets.
  • Noise standards for fire-crackers were developed in October, 1999. Central Pollution Control Board had carried out a compliance testing of the fire crackers available in the market and also taken up with the Department of Explosives for compliance with these standards.
  • Noise standards for petrol and kerosene generator sets were notified in September, 2000, and will be effective from September, 2002. The sale of these gensets will be prohibited if not certified by the testing agencies, identified for the purpose.
  • The Noise Rules, 2000, regulates noise due to Public Address System/ Loud speakers and also prescribed procedures for noise complaint handling.
  • Central Pollution Control Board has taken up a study on aircraft noise monitoring in Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi. This will be followed by development of guidelines/ standards for aircraft noise.
What are the laws enforced by of the Pollution Control Boards ?

The Central and State Pollution Control Boards were set up for enforcement of the Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1974. Over the years, the Boards have been assigned additional responsibilities which include the following :

  • Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Cess Act, 1977.
  • Air (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1981
  • Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 and Rules made thereunder
  • Hazardous Waste (Management & Handling) Rules1989.
  • Manufacture, storage and Import of Hazardous Chemicals Rules, 1989
  • Bio-medical Waste (Management & Handling) Rules, 1998
  • Municipal Solid Waste (Management & Handling) Rules, 2000.
  • Plastics wastes Rules, 1999 o Coastal Regulation Zone Rules, 1991
  • Public Liability Insurance Act, 1991
What are the specific functions of the Pollution Control Boards?

Functions of Central Pollution Control Board :

  • Advise the Central Government on matters relating to pollution;
  • Coordinate the activities of the State Boards;
  • Provide Technical assistance to the State Boards, carry out and sponsor investigations and research relating to control of pollution;
  • Plan and organize training of personnel;
  • Collect, compile and publish technical and statistical data, prepare manuals and code of conduct.
  • To lay down standards;
  • To plan nation wide programme for pollution control.

Functions of the State Pollution Control Boards:

  • To advise the State Government on matter relating to pollution and on siting of industries
  • To plan programme for pollution control;
  • To collect and disseminate information;
  • To carry our inspection;
  • To lay down effluent and emission standards;
  • To issue consent to industries and other activities for compliance of prescribed emission and effluent standards,