Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Environmental legislation related to industrial effluents and hazardous wastes

Environmental legislation related to industrial effluents and hazardous wastes
The Hazardous Wastes (Management and Handling) Rules, 1989 came into effect on 28th July, 1989. These rules shall apply to hazardous wastes as specified in schedule and exclude waste water and exhaust gases as covered under the provisions of the Water act of 1974 and Air act of 1981. It also excludes wastes arising out of the operation from ships beyond five kilometres and  radio-active wastes. The following are the salient features under this act:

  1. The occupier generating hazardous wastes specified in the Schedule in quantities equal to or exceeding the limits mentioned, shall take all practical steps to ensure that such wastes are properly handled and disposed of without any adverse effects which may result from such wastes and the occupier shall also be responsible for proper collection, reception, treatment, storage and disposal of these wastes either himself or through the operator of a facility.
  2.  The occupier or any other person acting on his behalf who intends to get his hazardous waste treated shall give to the operator of a facility, such information as may be specified by the State Pollution Control Board.
  3. The State Pollution Control Board may cancel an authorisation issued under these rules or suspend it if the authorised person has failed to comply with any of the conditions after giving the authorised person an opportunity to show cause and after recording reasons thereof.
  4. Packaging, labelling and transport of hazardous wastes shall be in accordance with the provisions of the rules issued by the Central Government from time to time.
  5.  The State Government shall undertake a continuing programme to identify the sites and compile and publish periodically an inventory of disposal sites within the State for the disposal of hazardous wastes.
  6. The State Government shall undertake a continuing programme to compile and publish an inventory of sites within the State at which hazardous wastes have at any time been stored or disposed of and such inventory
    1. The occupier generating hazardous waste and operator of a facility for collection, reception, treatment, transport, storage and disposal of hazardous waste shall maintain records of such operations in forms specified
    2. The occupier and operator of a facility shall send annual returns to the State Pollution Control Board in forms specified
    3. Where an accident occurs at the facility or on a hazardous waste site or during transportation of hazardous wastes, the occupier or operator of a facility shall report immediately to the State Pollution Control Board about the accident in forms specified.
    4. The CPCB also sets guidelines regarding import of hazardous wastes.
    Under the Air (prevention and control of air pollution) Act, 1981, 
    1. State boards may lay down standards for emissions of air pollutants from industrial units
    2. State boards should examine manufacturing process and pollution control equipment to verify if they meet standards prescribed
    3. State board can advise the state government to declare heavily polluted areas as pollution control areas
    4. Operation of Industrial unit is prohibited in heavily polluted areas without the consent of the central board.
    5. Violation of this law is punishable with imprisonment a term which may extend to three months or fine upto Rs. 10,000 or both.
    Water act came into effect in 1974 to prevent pollution of water by industrial, agricultural and household water.
    Under the Water (prevention and control of air pollution) Act, 1984,
    1. The water act is designed to assess pollution levels and punish polluter
    2. The central government and state governments have set-up pollution control boards to monitor water pollution.
    3. Central and state boards have been created under this act for preventing water pollution The act empowers the board to take:           -  water samples for analysis, govern discharge of sewage, trade effluents, study or inspect appeals, revision of policies, set minimum and maximum penalties, publication of names of offenders, offences by companies or government departments, establish or recognize water testing laboratories and standard testing procedures. Prevention and control of water pollution is achieved through a 'permit' or a 'consent administration' procedure
    In addition to the above, the government has also enacted the water pollution cess act in 1977 requiring industrial consumers to pay cess depending on the type of use as listed below:
    1. Industries using water for industrial cooling, spraying in mine pits or as boiler feed
    2. Domestic purposes
    3. Processing (pollutants are biodegradable. Eg: water from slaughter houses)
    4. Processing (pollutants are not biodegradable and are toxic. Eg: water from tannery waste, industrial wastewater from electroplating industries)
    Industries that have a treatment plant installed for treating their effluents can get a rebate of 70% on the cess payable.

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