What do you mean by Environment Impact Assessment (EIA)?

What do you mean by Environment Impact Assessment (EIA)?
What do you mean by Environment Impact Assessment (EIA)?

Every anthropogenic activity has some impact on the environment. More often it is harmful to the environment than benign. However mankind as it is developed today cannot live without taking up these activities for his food, security and other needs. Consequently, there is a need to harmonies developments activities with be environmental concerns. Environmental impact assessment (EIA) is one of the tools available with the planners to achieve the above-mentioned goal.

It is desirable to ensure that the development options under consideration are sustainable. In doing so, environmental consequences must be characterized early in the project cycle and accounted for in the project design.
The objective of EIA is to foresee the potential environmental problems that would arise out of a proposed development and address them in the project’s planning and design stage. The EIA process should then allow for the communication of this information to:

  • the project proponent;
  • the regulatory agencies; and,
  • all stakeholders and interest groups.

EIA integrates the environment concerns in the developmental activities right at the time of initiating for preparing the feasibility report. In doing so it can enable the integration of environmental concerns and mitigation measures in project development. EIA can often prevent future liabilities or expensive alterations in project design.

What are the general powers of the Central Government under E.P.A. for the protection and improvement of environment?

What are the general powers of the Central Government under E.P.A. for the protection and improvement of environment?
What are the general powers of the Central Government under E.P.A. for the protection and improvement of environment?

Section 3. Power of Central Government to take measure to protect and improve the environment –

1.

Subject to the provisions of this Act, the Central Government shall have the power to take all such measures as it deems necessary or expedient for the purpose of protecting and improving the quality of the environment pollution.

2.

In particular, and without prejudice to the generality of the provisions of sub-section (1), such measures may include measures with respect to all or any of the following matters, namely.

i)

Co-ordination of actions by the State Governments, officers and other authorities

a.

Under this Act, or the rules made thereunder

or,
b.

Under any other law for the time being in force which is relatable to the objects of this Act.

ii)

Planning and execution of a nation-wide programme for the prevention, control and abatement of environmental pollution.

iii)

Laying down standards for the quantity of environment in its various aspects.

iv)

Laying down standards for emission or discharge of environmental pollutants from various sources whatsoever. Provided that different standards for emission or discharge may be laid down under this clause from different sources having regard to the quality or composition of the emission lr discharge of environmental pollutants from such sources.

v)

Restriction of areas in which any industries, operations or processes or class of industries, operations or processes shall not be carried out or shall be carried out subject to certain safeguards.

vi)

Laying down procedures and safeguards for the prevention of accidents which may cause environmental pollution and remedial measures for such accidents.

vii)

Laying down procedures and safeguards for the handling of hazardous substances.

viii)

Examination of such manufacturing processes, materials and substances as are likely to cause environmental pollution.

ix)

Carrying out and sponsoring investigations and research relating to problems of environmental pollution.

x)

Inspection of any premises, plant, equipment, machinery, manufacturing or other processes, materials or substances and giving, by order, of such directions to such authorities, officers or persons as it may consider necessary to take steps for the prevention, control and abatement of environmental pollution.

xi)

Establishment or recognition of environmental laboratories and institutes to carry out the functions entrusted to such environmental laboratories and institutes under this Act.

xii)

Collection and dissemination of information in respect of matters relating to environmental pollution.

xiii)

Preparation of manuals, codes or guides relating to the prevention, control and abatement of environmental pollution.

xiv)

Such other matters as the Central Government deems necessary or expedient for the purpose of securing the effective implementation of the provisions of this Act.

3.)

The Central Government may, if it consider it necessary or expedient so to do for the purposes of this Act, by order published in the Official Gazettee, constitute an authority or authorities by such name or names as may be specified in the order for the purpose of exercising and performing such of the powers and functions (including the power to issue directions under Section 5) of the Central Government under this Act and for taking measures with respect to such of the matters referred to in sub-section(2) as may be mentioned in the order and subject to the supervision and control of the Central Government and the provisions of such order, such authority or authorities may exercise the powers or perform the functions or take the measures so mentioned in the order as if such authority had been empowered by this Act to exercise those powers or perform those functions or take such measures.

Section 4. Appointment of Officers and their powers and functions :

1.

Without prejudice to the provisions of sub-section(3) of Section 3, the Central Government may appoint officers with such designations as it thinks fit for the purpose of this Act and may entrust to them such of the powers and functions under the Act as it may deem fit.

2.

The officers appointed under sub-section(1) shall be subject to the general control and direction of the Central Government or , if so directed by that Government, also of the authority or authorities, if any, constituted under sub-section(3) of Section 3 or of any other authority or officer.

Section 5. Power to give directions :

Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law but subject to the provisions of this Act, the Central Government may, in the exercise of its powers and performance of its functions under this Act, issue directions in writing to any person, officer or any authority and such person, officer or authority shall be bound to comply with such directions.

Explanation – For the avoidance of doubts, it is hereby declared that the power to issue directions under this section includes the power to direct

a)

The closure, prohibition or regulation or any industry, operation or process.

or,
b)

Stoppage or regulation of the supply of electricity or water or any other service.

Section 6. Rules to regulate environmental pollution :
1.

The Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, make rules in respect of all or any of the matters referred to in Section 3.

2.

In particular, and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power, such rules may provide for all or any of the following matters, namely:

a.

The standards of quality of air, water or soil for various areas and purposes.

b.

The maximum allowable limits of concentration of various environmental pollutants (including noise) for different areas.

c.

The procedures and safeguards for the handling of hazardous substances.

d.

The prohibition and restrictions on the handling of hazardous substances in different areas.

e.

The prohibition and restrictions on the location of industries and the carrying on of processes and operations in different areas.

f.

The procedures and safeguards for the prevention of accidents which may cause environmental pollution and for providing for remedial measures for such accidents.

How is ‘Environment’ defined under Indian Law?

How is ‘Environment’ defined under Indian Law?
How is ‘Environment’ defined under Indian Law?

According to Section 2(a) of the Environmental Protection Act, 1986, ‘Environment’ includes –
a) Water, air and land
b) The inter-relationship which exists among and between,
i) water, air, land, and
ii) human beings, other living creatures, plants, microorganisms and property.

Environmental law – or “environmental and natural resources law” – is a collective term describing the network of treaties, statutes, regulations, and common and customary lawsaddressing the effects of human activity on the natural environment.

Three key policies relating to environmental protection in India. They are –

  • The National Forest Policy, 1988
  • Policy statement for Abatement of Pollution, 1992
  • National Conservation Strategy and Policy Statement on Environment and Development, 1992.

There are about two hundred laws dealing with environmental protection both before and after independence in India. However, the pre-independence laws have not dealt with environmental protection exclusively.

For example, the Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860, had a chapter (chapter XIV) which dealt with offences affecting public health, safety and convenience, which covered aspects like water, air and noise pollution, whereas the post-independence laws mentioned above deal exclusively with environmental protection.

What would be the shape of post 2020 Arrangements for Climate Change?

What would be the shape of post 2020 Arrangements for Climate Change?
What would be the shape of post 2020 Arrangements for Climate Change?

The legal shape of post 2020 arrangements cannot be pre-judged. The arrangement may include a variety of options including aspirational CoP decisions, binding CoP decisions, setting up of institutions and bodies covering various aspects of Bali Action Plan and Cancun Agreements with differing degrees of bindingness under the provisions of domestic and international law under the UNFCCC.

According to Section 2(a) of the Environmental Protection Act, 1986, ‘Environment’ includes
a) Water, air and land
b) The inter-relationship which exists among and between,
i) water, air, land, and
ii) human beings, other living creatures, plants, microorganisms and property.

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

In what respects does India treat Durban Decisions as significant?

In what respects does India treat Durban Decisions as significant?
In what respects does India treat Durban Decisions as significant?

Durban decisions are significant because they have restored faith in the multilateral process. The decisions have also preserved the Kyoto protocol even while discussions on the future arrangements beyond 2020 are underway.

At Durban, the second commitment period for developed country parties under the Kyoto Protocol was established. Several institutional mechanisms including the Green Climate Fund, Technology mechanism, and the Adaptation Committee which had been agreed at Cancun were operationalised at Durban.

The Durban conference also adopted the guidelines for transparency arrangements which will result in the first biennial reports/updates of mitigation actions of developed and developing countries to be furnished in 2014 and the IAR and ICA of such actions to take place in 2015.

The Durban Conference also agreed to launch a process under the Durban Platform to develop a protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force under the Convention by 2015 and implement it from 2020.

What are the key elements of Durban Decisions/Package?

What are the key elements of Durban Decisions/Package?
What are the key elements of Durban Decisions/Package?

At Durban, the second commitment period for developed country parties under the Kyoto Protocol was established. Several institutional mechanisms including the Green Climate Fund, Technology mechanism, and the Adaptation Committee which had been agreed at Cancun were operationalised at Durban.

The Durban conference also adopted the guidelines for transparency arrangements which will result in the first biennial reports/updates of mitigation actions of developed and developing countries to be furnished in 2014 and the IAR and ICA of such actions to take place in 2015.

The Durban Conference also agreed to launch a process under the Durban Platform to develop a protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force under the Convention by 2015 and implement it from 2020.

According to Section 2(a) of the Environmental Protection Act, 1986, ‘Environment’ includes
a) Water, air and land
b) The inter-relationship which exists among and between,
i) water, air, land, and
ii) human beings, other living creatures, plants, microorganisms and property.

What are the provisions in the Indian Penal Code for environmental protection?

What are the provisions in the Indian Penal Code for environmental protection?
What are the provisions in the Indian Penal Code for environmental protection?

The Indian Penal Code has a chapter on offences affecting Public Health, Safety, Convenience (Chapter XIV). Sec. 268 provides that “a person is guilty of a public nuisance who does any act or is guilty of an illegal omission which causes any common injury, danger or annoyance to the public or to the people in general who dwell or occupy property in the vicinity, or which must necessarily cause injury, obstruction, danger, or annoyance to persons who may have occasion to use any public right.”

The section further explains that a common nuisance is not excusable on the ground that it causes some convenience or advantage.

Other concerned provisions are: a “negligent act likely to spread infection or disease dangerous to life” (Sec. 269 IPC.), a “malignant act likely to spread infection or disease dangerous to life” (Sec. 270 IPC.), “making atmosphere noxious to health” (Sec. 278 IPC.).

But the essential requirement of the provision to punish a man is the guilty intention of the accused, i.e. either the act of the accused should be negligent, malignant or voluntary, which vitiates the atmosphere.

In case of public nuisance, the Penal Code provides for fines up to Rs. 200/- by way of punishment (Sec. 290 IPC.) and for making the atmosphere noxious to health Rs. 500/- only (Sec.78 IPC.).

The punishments are too meagre to meet the objectives. With these penal provisions, it is not possible to check environmental pollution.

What is the Environmental Protection Act 1986?

What is the Environmental Protection Act 1986?
What is the Environmental Protection Act 1986?

An Act to provide for the protection and improvement of environment and for matters connected there with.

WHEREAS the decisions where taken at the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment held at Stockholm in June, 1972, in which India participated, to take appropriate steps for the protection and improvement of human environment.

AND WHEREAS it is considered necessary further to implement the decisions aforesaid in so far as they relate to the protection and improvement of environment and prevention of hazards to human beings, other living creatures, plants and property


Environmental law
– or “environmental and natural resources law” – is a collective term describing the network of treaties, statutes, regulations, and common and customary laws addressing the effects of human activity on the natural environment.Environmental law is a complex mix of federal, state and local laws, regulations, policy choices, science, and health concerns. In addition, it is a dynamic area of the law with changes occurring rapidly.

What steps have been taken to control noise pollution from generator sets?

What steps have been taken to control noise pollution from generator sets?
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.

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?

What are the specific functions of the Pollution Control Boards?
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.