Agra – In 1993, 212 coal-based industrial units had to close down and one thermal plant had to shift owing to their polluting nature. Tirupur, Tamil Nadu – A huge textile hub, more than 3000 industrial units have been classified under the highly polluting or ‘red’ category. Mumbai, Maharashtra – Illegal dumping of raw sewage, industrial waste and municipal waste has killed the Mithi river as well as the long coastline of Maharashtra.
Disregard of environmental concerns by thousands of business units across the country has brought our environment to the edge. Also, those errant businesses that are found to be on the wrong side of environmental laws have to bear the burden of the additional cost of re-location.
Many a times, their venture is ordered to be shut down due to its polluting nature. Also, with more and more consumers getting ‘green-conscious’, many businesses, including start-ups, nowadays flaunt their ‘eco-friendly’ status and take great care to source their materials/products from manufacturing units that follow sustainable production practices.
Therefore, for all businesses, big or small or a start-up, manufacturing or non-manufacturing, it makes not only environmental sense but also business sense to be aware of the laws regulating environmental protection and abide by them. We give you a glimpse of the various laws in India.
Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Rules, 1983 The act lays down that “air pollution” means any solid, liquid or gaseous substance (including noise) 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 environment.” Any business found to be the cause of such pollution will be deemed to be an offender under this law.
In order to establish and operate an industrial plant in an air pollution control area, the business owner has to obtain a Certificate of Consent from the Collector of the District, the Revenue Divisional Officer, the Health Officer, the Executive Authority of the municipal or local body concerned and the nearest police station. Every application for consent shall be made within four months from the date of declaration of any area as air pollution control area. Every application for consent shall be made in Form I with the prescribed fees Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Rules, 1975 This Act lays down that no person shall knowingly cause or permit any poisonous, noxious or polluting matter into any stream or well or sewer or on land. In case you want to establish any industry, operation or process which is likely to discharge sewage or trade effluent into a stream or well or sewer or on land, you will have to obtain a certificate of consent from the Central Board. The application for consent has to be made to the Central Board in Form XIII with the prescribed fees. The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 This Act lays down that no person carrying on any industry, operation or process shall discharge or emit or permit to be discharged or emitted any environmental pollutant in excess of prescribed standards.
In case the discharge of any environmental pollutant in excess of the prescribed standards occurs or is apprehended to occur due to any accident or other unforeseen act or event, you as the business owner shall be bound to prevent or mitigate the environmental pollution caused as a result of such discharge and shall also forthwith :
• Intimate the fact of such occurrence to the concerned authorities
• Render all assistance as may be prescribed
• Pay for the expenses of the remedial measures