Suggestions on the Draft EIA Notification 2020 as proposed by the Ministry of Environment Forests and Climate Change

Suggestions on the Draft EIA Notification 2020 as proposed by the Ministry of Environment Forests and Climate Change.


Dr. Yashpal Singh

Former Member EAC Infra 2, MoEF&CC

I have had an opportunity to go through the draft of the ‘proposed E.I.A. Notification 2020’. The Ministry needs to be congratulated for the efforts in bringing about this comprehensive, clearly comprehensible, transparent and practical approach to Environmental Clearances. The draft has attempted to solve many problems which the committee and proponents often face and of which I am aware of in my earlier roles as Member Secretary of the SEAC U.P. and as a Member of the Expert Appraisal Committee at the MoEF.

  1. Since the Ministry has put up the draft on the public domain for seeking objections or suggestions to the draft, I take this opportunity to initially suggest that the draft may also like to include:
    1. Provisions of Processing fee for the entire process.
    2. Procedures to be followed for integrated and interrelated projects. There are two directives of the Ministry that currently deal with it. An O.M. dated 24 12  2010 and a circular dated 06  02  A certain amount of plurality in committees involved is felt.  Multiple processing for a project which is likely to come up as a single project may need to be avoided. A single, separate Committee for integrated and interlinked projects may be considered.
    3. The Secretariat for the SEIAA, SEAC, UTEIAA, DEAC etc. may need to be specified  along with budgetary provisions and staffing for each.
    4. The functions of the Member Secretaries of the EAC/SEAC/DEAC and SEIAA should be clearly specified. Presentations by the Project Proponent are not a very Healthy practice. The Member Secretaries should present the case.
    5. Provision of dealing with non linear Border Projects.
    6. Procedure where there is a planned change in pollution control technology without any change in peak production capacities.
    7. Since Environmental Clearance is a site clearance therefore a provision that the application has to be made at the stage of identification of the site and that the Authority would not be responsible for investments made if the site is rejected from the environmental angle.
    8. The draft notification may also like to fix a Quorum for the Meeting
  1. In addition to the above, I would also wish to submit a few specific, clause based, suggestions as below for the consideration of the Ministry.
  2. Clause 3
    1. Clause 3.1  We may like to specify the name of the Ministry empowered to notify the ‘other’ agency and replace, “as may be notified by the Ministry from time to time” with “as may be notified by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change from time to time”.
    2. Clause 3.6  The terms ‘Border areas’ has been additionally defined but I could not observe any reference to the procedures for ‘Border Areas’ in the text, except for Linear Projects. May be this could be examined and suitable provisions made for non  linear projects in Border areas.
    3. Clause 3.7  The Committees and project proponents are often faced with the issues of interpreting built up areas which are “open to the sky”. I think adding the following would clarify issues. “Areas open to the sky would not classify as built up area”.
    4. Clause 3.12  The draft uses the same proviso for both the Central and State Boards. Since Both the State Boards and the Central Board are constituted under the Water Act 1974, I would feel that adding the specific section may help in the definition being more specific.  We may like to replace, “is a Board constituted under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1974” with “is a Board constituted under Section 3 of the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1974.”
    5. Clause 3.16  The concept of ‘Corporate Environment Responsibility’ may need a little rethink. To the best of my knowledge the term ‘Corporate Environment Responsibility’ was introduced by the Ministry sometimes in 2007 to provide for the social needs of the surrounding areas as part of the Corporate (Project) responsibility. The Environmental needs were planned to the fulfilled through the Environmental Management Plan. With the inclusion of Corporate Social Responsibility through the Company Act of 2013, the scenario has changed and the Government has already made or provision for assessment of Social needs and fulfillment of Social responsibilities by the corporate. By making a provision for a capital cost linked, Corporate Environment Responsibility the proviso increases the cost which ultimately has to be borne by the Society or shareholders.  This will inflate the pricing of the products and impact profits which will ultimately  reflect on all future C.S.R. spends which are based on profits. The draft E.I.A. notification of 2020 refers to the Corporate Environment Responsibility as being a part of the E.M.P. which would address to fulfilling the social requirements that may be spelt out during the Public hearing process or in the social need assessment carried out during the E.I.A. studies. We already have a provision of E.M.P. for Environmental needs and CSR for social needs apart from the multifarious social welfare spends of the Government. I think in terms of Environmental Clearance, we would like to restrict ourselves to fulfilling the Environmental needs of the project and advise the industry on activities which could be undertaken by it under its corporate Social Responsibility. It is public money that has to be invested and it should be ensured that it is gainfully utilized. There does not appear to be any study on the social contribution of C.E.R. over the past years. C.S.R. on the other hand is a more organized exercise and taken care that the money is well spent and annual reports prepared.    Now because C.E.R. was conceptualized by the Ministry sometimes in 2007 when there was no other provision for fulfillment of social Responsibility other than Philanthropy  and because the Environmental Management Plan can now serve the purpose of assessing environmental needs and making adequate provisions and the Corporate Social Responsibility provision of the Companies Act 2013 has now taken case of social need assessment and fulfillment by corporate, therefore C.E.R. which is an addition on costs (to the public and shareholder) should be considered to be redundant and the Environment Clearance could provide for an Environmental Management Plan and a list of activities which have to be undertaken under the Corporate Social Responsibility.
    6. Clause 3.18 We may like to replace “as identified by the Central Pollution Control Board, from time to time” with “notified as such, by the Central Pollution Control Board from time to time”.
    7. Clause 3.19  For the sake of uniformity on what has been earlier provided in the text regard constitution of the DLEAC, we would like to add “District Administration” here and replace, “ on the recommendation of the State Government or Union Territory Administration” with “on the recommendation of the District Administration, State Government or Union Territory Administration.”
    8. Clause 3.21  We could replace the phase “are the areas as notified under subsection (2) of section 3” with “are the areas notified as such under subsection (2) of Section 3”.
    9. Clause 3.22  To differentiate between ESA and ESZ, we could consider replacing the phrase “are the zones as notified under subsection (2) of section 3” with “are the zones notified as such, around protected areas, under subsection (2) of section 3”.
    10. Clause 3.30
      1. Distance from international Boundaries may also need to be taken into consideration at 30 (a).
      2. At 30 (a) (i) only such protected areas may need to be included where Eco sensitive zones are not notified and hence we could consider replacing 30 (a) (i) “Protected Areas” to 30 (a) (i) “Protected Areas where Eco sensitive Zones are not notified.”
    11. Clause 3.33­  Can we replace the Phrase “means the project as defined under” with “means projects defined as such under”.
    12. Clause 3.42  The provision of allowing the Appraisal Committees to modify the Standard conditions could be reconsidered. Standard conditions are conditions required to be met for the sector or activity and which all projects in that sector may need to comply with while specific conditions may be conditions specific to the project proposals as submitted for E.C. and be case specific. Once we put the standard conditions on the Public domain, a project proponent may be assisted in drawing up the project accordingly and the same could be examined during appraisal. Specific conditions which will be project specific could be prescribed on due diligence during appraisal on a case to case basis. No amendments in General conditions may be allowed.
    13. Clause 3.49  The clause provides that the terms of reference shall be drawn by the “Regulatory Authority” while later in the text it is provided that Specific TOR shall be granted by “Committee”. This may be looked into and the use of the phase “Regulatory Authority” here be suitably amended to “Expert Appraisal Committee/State Level Expert Appraisal Committee/District or Divisional Level Expert Appraisal Committee as required”.
    14. Clause 3.51­  Severely polluted areas may not merely have to be “identified” but may  have to be properly “notified” in order that the same are in public domain and assist the decision making process in a transparent way.  A project proponent may need to decide his investments on this criteria also. It is therefore suggested that the Phrase “means the industrial cluster or area as identified by the Central Pollution Central Board” could be replaced with “means the industrial cluster or area notified as such by the Central Pollution Control Board”.
    15. Clause 3.52  A comma needs to change places so that the name of the Ministry is not read as the Ministry for Environmental Appraisal of projects. I would wish to humbly suggest if the phrase, “at the State Level, by the Ministry for Environmental appraisal of projects” is replaced with, “at the State Level by the Ministry, for environmental appraisal of projects”.
    16. Clause 3.53  A reference to section 4 of the Water Act would appear to be useful here. We may like to replace the phrase “is a Board  constituted under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1974” with “is a Board constituted under Section 4 of the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974”.
    17. Clause 3.56  Since the Terms of Reference have to be prescribed by the committees, the following phrase in the opening lines, “means detailed scope prescribed by the Regulatory Authority” could be replaced with “means detailed scope prescribed by the Expert Appraisal Committee/State Level Expert Appraisal Committee/District or Divisional Level Expert Appraisal Committee as applicable.”
    18. Clause 3.57  A comma needs to be inserted after ‘Ministry’ in the third line. The phrase “purpose of this notification at Union Territory Level by the Ministry for Environmental Appraisal of projects” could be replaced with “purpose of this notification at    Union Territory Level by the Ministry, for Environmental Appraisal of projects.”
    19. Clause 3.59 A specific reference to the section of the Water Act through which the committee is constituted will be helpful. The following phrase “is a committee constituted under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1974” could be replaced with “is a Committee constituted under provisions of Sections 4(4) and 9 of the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1974.”
    20. Clause 3.60  I would feel that the addition of the following phrase “or other wise initiated work at site on any project/activity for which a prior environmental clearance/permission was required”, after the word “prior EC” and before the word “without” in line 03 of the clause 3.60, could make it more complete.
  3. Clause 4
    1. Clause 4(1)  Can we add this phrase at the end of clause 4(1). “The application can be made at the stage of identification of project site. Physical possession of Land may not be required. The Authority would not be responsible for investments in site acquisition, if on appraisal the site is not found suitable from the Environmental angle and the E.C./E.P. is rejected.”
    2. Clause 4(3)   Since a project site can be rejected on environmental grounds, a small disclaimer may be necessary in this clause. I would suggest that the following phrase “It is, however clarified that ‘construction work’ for the purpose of this notification shall not include securing the land” be replaced with “It is, however clarified that the ‘Construction work’ for the purpose of this notification, carried out completely at the risk and responsibility of the project proponent, shall not include securing the land”.
  4. Clause 5
    1. Clause 5.6  The term ‘E.P.’ could be expanded to ‘Environmental Permission’ at line 2 of clause 5.6.
    2. Clause 5.7  Clause 5.7 may need to be explained a little simpler. Firstly, if all projects need an E.C. then why do we need this clause. I wonder if the intent of the draft is that such, high security projects would not need a prior E.C./E.P through this route. The list of projects proposed to be put in this category and which is to be determined by the Government may need to be a part of this notification for efficient planning, completeness and transparency. I would feel that such projects located near international Boundaries may also need to be addressed to. This clause may need to be examined again and revised for clarity on whether E.C. under the notification is required or not required and what will be the procedure. The entire process of E.I.A. is public oriented and therefore maintaining the confidentiality of such projects under the E.I.A. process is difficult. A separate mechanism may need to be evolved in National Interest.
  5. Clause 6
    1. Clause 6(2)  There are times of exigencies when it may be imperative to increase the Tenure of the EAC. I would feel that the Ministry could be empowered to extend the time by 03 months. Can we rephrase Clause 6(2) as   “The tenure of the EAC shall not be more than 03 years except that under exigencies, the Ministry may extend the tenure once only by 03 months”.
    2. Clause 6(3)  I would feel that there should be a limit to the number of Members that can be co- opted. The draft could suitably address to this issue.
    3. Clause 6(6)  Could be revised to include a provision that if due to exigencies, the term of a committee is increased beyond 03 years, the tenure of the Member would increase accordingly. Sometimes the ‘Tenure of Member’ and the ‘Term of the Committee’ could be understood differently.
    4. Clause 6(9)  I would feel that the competent authority to authorize a member for inspection could be spelt out. Would suggest that the Ministry or the concerned Regulatory Authority could be empowered. A suitable revision in clause 6(9) could be considered.
  6. Clause 7

A mention of the Secretariat for the E.I.A. Authority and Budgetary provisions need to be specifically made.

  1. Clause 7(4)  A provision could be added to include extension of tenure of Members if the Term of the Authority is extended as proposed in 7(2).
  1. Clause 8
    1. Clause 8(3) and 8 (4)  The draft of the notification provides for the EAC to have a Member Secretary end the SEAC/DLEAC to have a ‘Secretary’. I would feel that the duties and responsibilities of both could be spelt out in the notification and the ‘Secretary’ of the State/Divisional Committee also designated as the Member Secretary. If the Secretary of a Committee is not its Member, She/he may often abstain from the meeting. It is important that there should be a Member Secretary who puts up the case before the Committee and we do not leave it to the proponents to present their case as they like within the very short duration of committee deliberations.

  A General issue of importance here is also setting up the requirements of a Quorum for the meeting and also as to what will constitute a ‘Majority’.  Will it be the majority of Members present in the meeting or a majority within the Authority/Committee as constituted.

  1. Clause 8 (5)  A three months extension provision in the case of exigencies could be made here. The following phrase could be added as for the SEAC. “Wherever considered necessary and expedient, Ministry may extend the tenure of the existing Committee and Members, for a period, not more than 03 months.”
  2. Clause 8 (6)  We may like to provide extension to members also. We can change the following phrase (Line 3 and 4, sub clause 6), “Ministry may extend the tenure of existing committee for a period, not more than 03 months” to  “Ministry may extend the tenure of existing committee and Members for a period, not more than 03 months”.
  1. Clause 9.
    1. Clause 9(2)  Can we also add the following role to the Technical Committee. “Coordination and compilation of Sector Wise  Environmental Management and Pollution Control Technology options for Water, Waste and Energy management and ”. This could be inserted after the word “procedures” as mentioned in the 2nd line of sub clause 2 of clause 9.
    2. Clause 9 (4)  It may need to be specified as to who will ‘Authorize’. The Chairman of the Committee or the Ministry. I would feel that the Authorization could be made by the Ministry.  Also the circumstances under which the Technical committee may visit the project site may be mentioned in the functions of the Technical committee, especially when the EAC/SEAC/DLEAC are also empowered to inspect. The role of the Technical Committee in individual Environmental Clearance may need to be specifically established, appropriately, throughout the notification where required. Ideally if the EAC/SEAC/DLEAC are empowered, the Technical Committee may not be provided any role in individual clearances. The inputs of the Technical Committee could be more generic in nature.
  2. Clause 10.
    1. Clause 10 (3)  Clause 10 (3) is subscripted by “Provided that the ACO preparing the EMP and the Project Proponent, shall be responsible for the adequacy of the EMP.” This appears to be a part of sub clause 10 (3) only in the draft although it is intended for all sub clauses 10 (1) to 10 (3).  It is suggested that this could be converted into a separate sub clause 4 of clause 10.

Further, the provision could also indicate as to who would be authorized to keep the E.M.P. on record and for how long. I would suggest that the Regional Officers of the Ministry, the Regional Officers of the CPCB and the Regional Officers of the SPCB could keep these in their record for the period of validity of the E.C.

  1. Clause 11.
    1. Clause 11 (1)  It has been prescribed that “No off line application shall be entertained”. Can we have on ‘off line option also for exigencies like site maintenance, breakdowns etc.

Within the table, under the details for public consultation, a provision has been prescribed for only 10 hard copies of the Summary E.I.A. report to be made available. There is a later provision in the draft which requires that the soft copy of the summary has to be loaded on the website of the SPCB/UTPEC for other concerned persons {Clause 14(9)}.

I would feel that a provision could be included for submission of a soft copy of the E.I.A. summary and the following phrase in Colum 3 of the table which reads “(ii) At least 10 hard copies of summary of E.I.A. report” could be replaced with “(ii) At least 10 hard copies and a soft (electronic) copy of summary of E.I.A. report”

The table at Appraisal, Form 2, Column 3.iv, also provides that the public consultation proceedings have to be submitted by the Project proponent for appraisal. Often the project proponents face difficulties in securing copies of the Public Hearing proceedings in time. A mechanism may need to be established for making the public hearing proceedings available to the project proponent in time bound manner maybe within 10 days of conduct of Public hearing.

  1. Clause 12.
    1. Clause 12 (3)  A provision has been made in the draft that the Appraisal committee shall be informed about the issuance of the standard TOR and it can recommend specific TOR within 30 days of issue of Standards TOR. Since the action by the Appraisal Committee is linked to the standard TOR being communicated to it and a meeting convened in this regards and not just only to the communication of the Standard TOR to the project proponent by the concerned regulatory authority, the time limits for this may need to be specified. A suggested time frame could be that   “A meeting of the concerned Expert Appraisal Committee shall be convened within 15 days of communication of the Standard TOR and the Specific TOR, if any, communicated within 30 days from the issue of standard TOR.
    2. Clause 12 (4)  A provision is being made that New Projects (as mentioned) shall only be referred to the Appraisal Committee for specific TOR, if deemed necessary and that if the regulatory Authority does not refer these, the Standard TOR would be issued online on the 30th This may mean that the Regulatory Authority will decide whether the specific TOR is necessary or not and the EIA could base itself only on standard TOR without site specific and project specific case to case inputs. I would feel that the underlying principle being that “Specific TOR is a matter of enabling the E.I.A. to have case based inputs as may be prescribed by the Committee”, therefore it is the Committee which should decide whether specific TOR is required and for that matter, the Committee, should compulsorily examine the project for specific TOR and decide whether the specific TOR is required or not. The provision at clause 12(4) may therefore be suitably amended to provide for a compulsory referral to the committee for specific TOR. This will also take care of any embarrassment that may occur by the Committee desiring additional studies at the appraisal stage, after the public hearing and would also support the provisions being prescribed at clause 12 (5) which empower the Authority to reject applications for TOR on the basis of recommendations of the Committee.
    3. Clause 12(8)  It is being provided that the cases for amendment of TOR may be put up to the Committee only if required. I think that since it is the responsibility of the committee to prescribe specific TOR and since changes in scope of a project may invite changes in specific TOR, therefore a referral to the Committee should be mandatory so that all concerns of relevance to the committee are taken care of in the EIA and Public Hearing and additional studies, post Public Hearing avoided.
  2. Clause 13.
    1. Clause 13 (2)  The requirements of primary base line data for the monsoon period may need to be reconsidered. Monsoon environmental conditions are generally good and may not serve sufficient purpose in drawing up the Environmental Management plan for worst case scenarios. Since the Ministry proposes this as an additionally, there will be little reason for the Committee for deciding not to get monsoon data. This will increase the base level data collection to 06 months instead of 03, raise the costs for the E.I.A. and introduce increased time without sufficient advantage. However, the Committee could be authorized to seek base level, Monsoon, Environmental quality on secondary data on a case to case basis in the E.I.A.
    2. Clause 13 (4)  Only MoEF and CC Accredited Labs are being authorized. With a scarcity of Labs, we may also wish to add NABL accredited Labs.
    3. Clause 13 (6)  Three years is the time limit prescribed for the validity of base line data. Three years is a long time and changes in development cover and background concentrations may have occurred. Hence a provision could be made for a non monsoon, spot analysis for parameters examined earlier, preferably for a day during the same period in which the baseline was earlier examined. This report should not be more than 03 months old at the time of submission of E.I.A. report.
    4. Clause 13 (7)  May like to add NABL accredited Laboratories also.
    5. Clause 13 (10)  ACO’s are being made accountable for the contents and data provided in the E.I.A. report. Since the E.I.A. report also bases itself on project related inputs from the project proponent an exception clause could be added here. I would suggest that the following phrase at clause 13 (10), 4th and 5th line, which reads

“XIII and they are accountable for the contents or data provided therein in addition to the project proponent” could be replaced with, “XIII and in addition to the project proponent they are accountable for the contents and data provided therein with the exception of project related data submitted by the project proponent and  data collected from secondary sources”.

  1. Clause 14
    1. Clause 14 (1) a.  A provision has been made for two or more public hearings for projects located in more than one district. Since the general geographical area and the mix of affected persons are likely to be similar, holding 02 or more separate meetings in each district may not be feasible. Instead the Public hearing, for non linear projects in these cases can be organized at the site and jointly attended by concerned Officers from both districts. The meeting could be convened by the Regional Officers, in whose areas the higher land requirement falls and Chaired by the same District Authorities.
    2. Clause 14 (2)  There may be cases where an existing plant going in for expansion has a prior E.C. based on public consultation and cases where plants without an E.C. or public consultation request for expansion. While the provision in the draft notification prescribing Public Consultations for  capacity additions beyond 50% is mandatory, I would also suggest that all those projects which do not have a prior E.C. or who have been established without a Public Consultation should be required to be examined by the Committee for the need to go in for Public Consultation and directed accordingly. A suitable provision could be made. May like to consider the following phrasing.

“All New projects of category ‘A’ and category ‘B1’ and expansion or modernization proposals of category ‘A’ and ‘B1’ with capacity increase of more than 50% shall undertake Public consultation. In addition all those expansion/modernization projects with a capacity increase of less than 50% and which have been established without a Prior E.C. or a public consultation will, if so directed by the Appraisal Committee, require undertaking Public Consultation as applicable”.

  1. Clause 14 (3)  In the 6th line to sub clause 14 (3), a provision could be made for submission of soft copies also.
  2. Clause 14(4)  The Ministry may like to rethink the provisions of different Public hearings in case of a project site falling in different administrative limits. With the exception of linear projects where this would appear necessary, I think the Ministry may like to introduce a mechanism of one single joint Public consultation, inter district or interstate.
  3. Clause 14 (9) At line 3 of clause 14 (9), provision could be made for submitting ‘Soft Copies’ also.
  4. Clause 14 (10)  At line 1 of the sub clause, could we specify a time limit for the communication of proceedings of Public Hearing to the project proponent. I would suggest 10 working days from conduct of Public hearing.
  1. Clause 15
    1. Clause 15 (1)  The Appraisal Committees are often faced with situations where it is brought to notice in the meeting that the application is not complete or there are  Court directions with relation to the project. The initial scrutiny of the application by the regulatory Authority, in the draft, is proposed only with reference to the Terms of Reference. I would feel that in addition to examining in relation to the TOR, the Authority may also like to examine the ‘Completeness of the proposal’, with reference to documentation and the legal status before accepting the case to be put up to the Committee. The Ministry may like to consider replacing the phrase {at the 2nd line of case 15(1)},  “strictly with reference to the TOR prescribed for the Project by the concerned Regulatory Authority” with “strictly with reference to the TOR prescribed for the project, the completeness of the application and the legal status, by the concerned Regulatory Authority.”
    2. Clause 15(4)  Can we replace the word ‘shall’ in the third line of clause 15 (4) with ‘may’. I would feel that confidentiality and privacy of committee meetings is very important. Often there are differences of opinion amongst members which need to be contained within the committee Room and it is not important for the Project proponent to know who said what and how other members or the Chairman reacted. Ideally the committee may like to discuss a project on merits, based on the case as put up to it by the Member Secretary. If the committee members have some clarification to seek, then only, the Project Proponent should be invited to the meeting. If we use the word “Shall” it becomes compulsory for proponents to necessarily attend the proceedings. If we use the word “May”, the option is with the Committee and can always be exercised if there is a clarification to be responded to.
    3. Clause 15(9)  As already indicated at para 1(e) of these comments, the entire concept of CER may be reexamined in light of the provisions in the companies Act for Social Responsibilities (C.S.R.).
  2. Clause 16.
    1. Clause 16 (1)  I would feel that a mechanism may need to  be introduced for those modernization projects where the project proponents wish to make a change in technologies for pollution control without any changes in production capacities. This could be considered as a separate category.  Alternate technologies may have different Environmental impacts, different sustainability indices in terms of carbon and water foot prints and different cost benefit considerations all of which may impact the environment and the general public at large.

In the table provided at clause 16(1), capacity enhancements of 10 to 50 percent are exempt from public consultation. This may not be very conducive to Sustainable Development. Cause effect relationships are complex specially with regards to  waste management, resource consumption, secondary developments etc.   I think this exemption could be allowed only to those industries which have a prior environmental clearance and which had earlier undertaken a Public Consultation.  A suitable clause could be added at column 8 of rows II to IV of the Table. I would suggest the following language “No for projects with an earlier EC and Public Consultation. Yes for all other projects.”

It has also been provided in the table. Row II and III, Colum 5 that there is no need for a revised E.I.A. report in case the capacity enhancement is up to 25%. Here also, I would feel that surely this class will include projects which may add to pollution , additional resource utilization and related secondary development. Therefore, some form of assessment of base quality and the impacts would be useful. There are provisions in the E.P. Act which prohibit any increment in ambient air quality if the existing Air Quality is beyond prescribed ambient quality standards. I would suggest that for projects with a prior E.C and going for an expansion up to 25% of the existing capacity, at least a month’s base level quality estimation and a broad assessment of impacts based on this one month data and other secondary information. This could utilize the template of Form 1A. If the existing project does not have a prior E.C. then the Appraisal Committee could decide the further need of an EIA/ Public hearing.

  1. Clause 16 (7)  A provision has been made to exempt those project from EIA and EMP which do not pollute. An Environmental Clearance is just not a ‘Pollution Control Clearance’ but one which involves Resource use including land and water, ecology, biodiversity, Socio economics, forestry, ,urban and rural planning, Energy conservation etc. therefore it may not be in the interest of Environment to consider a ‘No increase in Pollution Load’ Certificate as a substitute for EIA and EMP. I would feel that while an E.M.P. should be compulsory in all circumstances, pollution or no pollution, the E.I.A. could be substituted by submission of Form 1A based on a one month back ground study and the following phrase “or Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, shall also be considered in place of E.I.A. and E.M.P. required under column (5) and column (6) of the table given at sub clause above” could be considered to be replaced with “or Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, shall also be considered in place of E.I.A. required under column (5) of the table given at sub clause 1 above. Such projects may however have to submit details in Form 1A (Appendix III) and a base line data of 01 month for the non monsoon.”
  1. Clause 17
    1. Clause 17(1)  We can make a provision for linking the date of uploading of the minutes rather than linking the time frame to only the Minutes of the Meeting. It is suggested that the following phrase in the 2nd and 3rd lines of the draft clause 17(1) which reads as, “Committee and convey its decision to the project proponent with in thirty working days of the minutes of meeting of the Appraisal Committee or within ninety working days” could be replaced with, “Committee and convey its decision to the project proponent within thirty working days of the date of uploading of the minutes of the Appraisal Committee or within ninety working days”.
    2. Clause 17 (2)  It would appear important to specify the agency which would communicate the decision to refer back the project. Will it be the Authority or the Committee? I would feel that it could be the Authority. In this connection the following sentence at lines 05 and 06 of the draft which reads as, “An intimation of this decision shall be simultaneously conveyed to the applicant through online mode” could be replaced with “An intimation of this decision shall be simultaneously conveyed, by the concerned regulatory Authority through on line mode to the applicant.”

A mechanism may also need to be provided to cater to a situation when the committee fails to give its recommendations within 45 days. The following provision could be considered to be added to clause 17(2) “In case the committee does not send its comments with in 45days, the concerned Authority would take a decision on merits and convey the same to the project proponent within 75 days of communicating the request for reconsideration to the committee.”

In view of the provisions proposed at Clause 17(2) where the Authority has to refer back and seek clarifications from the  Committee, there does not appear to be  a need of inviting the project proponents to Authority Meetings to seek clarifications. This proviso could be added in 17(2) at the appropriate place as follows, “Provided also that it shall not be necessary for the Regulatory Authority to invite the Project proponent to any Authority Meetings to respond to clarifications or make presentations. The Authority will take a decision based on the response of the Appraisal Committee to its observations.”

  1. Clause 17 (5) C  The use of the word ‘and’ at 17(5) C appears redundant.

Also it may also appear important for a project proponent to furnish a certificate from the concerned authorities regarding availability of water as a resource , availability of appropriate waste management infrastructure( sewage and MSW) and adequacy of the transport network to cater to the demands of the project if the project plans to draw these facilities from the State. These certificates appear important because the project may not be sustainable if there is no water, underdesigned sewage network , inadequate solid waste handling facilities or an inadequate transport network which adds to congestion.

Clause 17(5) d   When speaking about clearances from other regulatory Authorities and in general, we may like to clearly specify that since it is a Prior Environmental Clearance, an application has to be made at the Stage of identification of site only and the Concerned Regulatory Authority will not be responsible if a site is rejected for environmental considerations. Proof of acquisition/possession may not be required.

The requirement of the copy of the preliminary notification, under the LARR Act, which takes almost 02 years after the identification of site and involves detailed investigations, would not be in the interest of development as the project will have to wait almost two years after identification of site to move an application for EC. EIA Clearance is a site clearance process and the Authority has a right to reject a site on environmental considerations.  It would be unfair to reject a project on Environmental considerations after applying for an E.C. , 02 years after identification of site.

 I had in this connection, in an earlier reference to the Ministry (Letter no. 142/ARN/2014  2015/2 dated 15-  01-  2015. Copy attached) suggested that, “In case the land with reference to the project site is proposed to be acquired through Government intervention, copy of the notification regarding commencement of consultation and Social Impact Study and the determination of Public Purpose issued under section 14 (1 and 2) of the LARR Act  of 2013 could be considered as an appropriate document instead of the preliminary notification.”

The Honourable Minister had   advised that he is looking into the matter. A copy of the letter from the Honourable Minister in this regards is also attached.

In so far as land acquisition through private negotiation is concerned, I had suggested in my earlier recommendations, that the following documents could be considered as proof of intent:

  1. In case a private company purchases land, equal to or more than such limits in rural areas or urban areas as may be prescribed by the appropriate State Governments, through private negotiation with the owners and for which payment of rehabilitation and resettlement costs under the LARR Act of 2013 is required, then a copy of the letter as prescribed under section 46 of the LARR Act, notifying the collector, of the intent to purchase, purpose for which such purchase is made and pertinent area of land to be purchased along with consent of 80% of sellers and affected persons.
  2. In case a private company purchases land and is not covered under the LARR Act of 2013 then a letter of intent from the Seller(s) could be regarded as appropriate.

The contents of clause 17 (d) could therefore be reconsidered.

  1. Clause 18
    1. Clause 18 (1)  I would feel that the clause may like to make a provision that any condition defining the basic structure of the project in terms of production capacities, technologies, resources utilization and waste management as prescribed in the earlier E.C. and which have been based on submissions made before the Public Hearing Committee, will be allowed to change through this clause only after the Committee has applied due diligence in deciding the need of a fresh EIA and Public Hearing. I would suggest that clause 18 (1) may be replaced by the following clause:
      1. The project proponent shall make an online application in Form 4 to the Regulatory Authority concerned on the designated portal regarding any change in the terms and conditions of prior Environmental Clearance or prior Environmental Permissions. With regards to changes in  those conditions of the Prior Environmental Clearance, that define the basic structure of the project in terms of production capacities, technologies, resource utilization and waste management and configuration of the units or equipment or machinery without change in overall sanctioned capacity and which are based on submission made before the Public Hearing Committee, the Appraisal Committee will exercise due diligence and make recommendations on the need for further EIA or Public hearing. The project shall be appraised accordingly thereafter.”
    2. Clause 18 (3)  A time frame for communication of the decision may also need to be prescribed. I would feel that 20 days could include communication of the decision also and the first line of the draft at clause 18 (3) which reads as, “All the applications for amendment in prior EP shall be considered by the Regulatory”, could be replaced with, “All the application for amendment in prior  P. shall be considered and communicated by the Regulatory”.
    3. Clause 18 (4)  Where the committee has been authorized to examine and satisfy itself that there will be no change in the E.I.A., it could also take a decision and satisfy itself on whether further Public hearing is involved. The following line, “or need for fresh public hearing”, could be added in the 4th line of Clause 18(4) of the draft EIA notification after “EIA report.”
    4. Clause 18.5  Clause 18.5 is difficult to comprehend by the reader. I think it could be redrafted. Wonder if the intent is that in case of Product mixes, the project proponent can schedule his production sequence at his own convenience, ensuring conformance to the peak production capacities and provision of adequate waste management facilities as prescribed.
    5. Clause 18 (6)  A change in configuration of units or equipment or machinery may have implications and environmental impacts. I would suggest that this clause could be removed. Instead, as already suggested at clause 18 (1) and 18 (4) these could be considered for amendment if the committee is satisfied that the shift is so minor as to have no changes in the E.I.A report and it is not necessary to subject it to a fresh public hearing.
  2. Clause 19
    1. Clause 19(2)  The  duties and responsibilities of the project proponent as a developer should be specifically defined in the E.I.A./ Further the entire S. No. 42 of schedule should be covered viz., “Building construction and Area Development Project.” It is suggested that clause 19 (2) which reads as, “Validity of the prior E.C. or prior  EP, as the case may be, in the case of Area Development projects, shall be limited only to such activities as may be the responsibility of the Project proponent as developer” could be replaced with, “Validity of the prior E.C. or prior E.P. as the case may be, in the case of Building Construction and Area Development Projects, shall be limited only to such activities, as may be the  responsibility of the project proponent as a developer and which have been defined so in the EIA/EMP project.”
  3. Clause 20
    1. Clause 20 (3)  Since Environmental Clearance is the first clearance which in turn decides the types of conditions to be imposed by other departments for Environmental Sustainability and needs to be suitably communicated to all departments and also because there is need to Specify the office or portal in which the E.C. has to be displayed, these provisions could be a part of the Clause 20 (3).

I would feel that the opening paragraph viz., “The copies of the prior E.C.                                                                                              ——————– the data of receipt” could be replaced with, “The copies of the prior E.C. shall be submitted by the project proponents to all Authorities from whom a clearance is required or has been taken for the project.  These conditions shall be incorporated in the conditions of clearance/permission to be granted by such Authorities.  The copy of the prior E.C. will also have to be submitted to the following authorities within 30 days of grant of clearance. All Authorities in receipt of the prior E.C. will   have to display the same for thirty days from the date of receipt in their official web portals”.

  1. Clause 20 (4)  A provision is being prescribed for submission of a compliance report every year for the complete Project life. Environmental clearance, being a Prior Environmental Clearance, would involve that the conditions have to be fulfilled before commencement of operation for which separate departments may grant separate permissions after also ensuring that the conditions of the E.C. as related to them and incorporated by them in their permissions are complied with. Requiring a compliance report, to be submitted to the Regulatory Authority,  for the entire project cycle appears to be too long a period for utility and would put a pressure on the Regulatory Authority concerned by generating an enormous bundle of reports for scrutiny. Instead I would suggest that a provision could be made that:
    1. The conditions of E.C. shall be incorporated as conditions of permissions to establish as may be required under various other laws by the concerned departments.
    2. The concerned Regulatory Authority (MoEF&CC/SEIAA/UTEIAA) or Officers authorized by it shall grant a certificate of satisfactory compliance of E.C.Conditions before the project is allowed to commence operations.
  • The concerned departments will, based on this certificate of satisfactory Compliance and satisfying themselves, grant a permission to operate and send a copy of the same to the Regulatory Authority.
  1. The concerned Departments will monitor compliance of conditions related to them throughout the project cycle and take decisions on permissions to be granted by them with due diligence according to the state of compliance.
  2. The concerned department will report any non compliance to the Regulatory Authority for action under section 19 of the E.C. Act 1986.
  1. Clause 20 (5)  A fee has been prescribed for non submission of compliance reports in time. This should be reexamined. A ‘Fee’ generally and legally is chargeable for a service rendered. We are not offering any services for the fee. The provision in this clause appears more in  the nature of a ‘Fine’ which can legally not be imposed beyond the provisions as made in the Environment Protection Act 1986 and that too by orders of a competent court. The E.P. Act 1986, the Water Act 1974 and the Air Act 1981 do not empower the regulatory Authorities to directly impose a fine. It is only courts that can do so. Non compliance of conditions of an E.C. is an offence under the E.P. Act 1986 for which the Act makes the following provision.
    1. Powers to give directions u/s 5.
    2. Penalty for contravention of the provisions of the Act. This does make a provision of a fine of one lakh Rupees and subsequently Rs. 5000 per day for continued non compliance but cognizance of offence has to be taken by the competent Courts..
  • Cognizance of any offence under this Act has to be taken by a Court under provisions of section 19.

Under the circumstances a ‘Fee’ or a ‘Fine’ cannot be imposed by the Regulatory Authority. Therefore, the first 5 lines of the draft clause 20 (5) which reads, “In case of failure to submit  ————————–  shall be levied” could be reconsidered as follows.

“In case of failure to submit yearly compliance reports in respect of the conditions stipulated in prior E.C. or E.P., as the case may be, pertaining to previous financial year by the 30th June,  the concerned Regulatory Authority would issue appropriate directions under section 5 of the E.P. Act,  1986 and/or initiate proceedings under sections 15 and 19 of the E.P. Act 1986”

For this, the Authority and its officers   may need to be delegated powers under the E.P. Act through a separate gazette notification.

A provision is being made in the notification for a deemed revocation of the EC if the compliance report is not submitted for three consecutive years. The exercise of punitive  provisions within this period of three years has also to be accounted for. I think the Authority would like to retain its right for punitive action in the interim period. The phrase, in the 8th and 9th line of Clause 20(5) which reads,

“three years, the prior E.C. or prior E.P., as the case may be shall be deemed to have been revoked without any notice in this regards” could be replaced with “three years, then in addition to the action already initiated under section 5, 15 and 19 of the E.P. Act as above, the prior E.C. or prior E.P. as the case may be, shall be deemed to have been revoked without any notice in the regards.”

  1. Clause 20 (8)  The compliance monitoring has been assigned to the Regional Officer of the Ministry or the Regional Directorate of CPCB. I would feel that the provision should be specific. There has to be someone who decides who has to monitor. The option of ‘or’ may result in duplicity of inspections and confusions which may not be conducive to efficient human resource utilization. In order to avoid confusion, I would wish to suggest that the phrase at line 2 and 3 of clause 20 (8), which reads as “Category ‘A’ projects——————————————–                                                                         Regional directorate of CPCB” could be replaced with:

“Category ‘A’ projects shall be carried out by the Regional Officer of the Ministry or on his request by the Regional Officer of the CPCB or by both jointly as may be decided by the Regional Officer of the Ministry. The Compliance report will be submitted by the Regional Officer of the Ministry.”

  1. Clause 21
    1. Clause 21 (2)  The provisions of clause 21 (2) enable split and transfer. The sentence, “The regulatory authority shall transfer——————————————                                                                                                           or more legal persons”  between lines 4 and 7 of the clause could make a specific  reference to the split also apart from transfer and be replaced with:

“The regulatory authority shall split and transfer the prior E.C. on recommendations of the Appraisal Committee, who shall prescribe the conditions for all the projects split among the two or more legal person(s) ensuring also that no compromise is made on the compliance of any of the conditions of the parent E.C.”

  1. Clause 21 (3)  Amalgamating 2 or more Environmental Clearance into one single Environmental Clearance may create problems. It may trigger multiple applications for the sake of ease of processing. Further it may also require a cumulative EIA and EMP and public hearing as required. This could be examined. I would feel that apart from the ‘No objection Certificate’ the need for and submission of cumulative E.I.A., EMP and Public hearing may also be stipulated.
  1. Clauses 22
    1. Clause 22 (2)  Could be understood, as drafted, that for a new project the site needs to be permissible under law and for an expansion it may be adequate if it could  run sustainably. I would only wish to suggest if the first 4 lines of the clause 22 (2)  which read, “The case of violation will be———————————–                                                                                                     with adequate environmental safeguards” could be replaced with, “The case of violation will be appraised by the Appraisal committee with a view to assess if the project, or modernization or expansion has been implemented at a  site where it is allowed under prevailing laws and is Environmentally acceptable and the project or modernization  or expansion can be further implemented/ operated sustainably after complying with environmental norms and safeguards”.
    2. Clause 22 (3)  Apart from specific TOR for remediation etc, specific TOR for project is also important. This does not appear to be reflected in the draft. The last line of this clause which reads as “resource augmentation plan in addition to standard TOR applicable to the project“, could be replaced with, “ resource augmentation plan in addition to standard and specific TOR applicable to the project.”
    3. Clause 22 (6)  Assessment of Ecological Damage and the formulation of remediation plan have been prescribed to be done by the Project proponent through the ACO [clause 22 (5)} whereas clause 22 (6) prescribes that the collection and Analysis of data shall be done by the Environmental Laboratory. I would feel that since the Project proponent, through the ACO has to prepare the reports (assessment of ecological damage, remediation and the natural and community resource augmentation plan) therefore the role of the laboratory could be specifically limited to the collection and analysis of laboratory/monitoring data for assessment of ecological damage and preparation of remediation and the Natural and Community Resource management plan. It is suggested that the first line of paragraph 22 (6) which reads, “The collection and analyses of date for assessment of ecological damage, preparation” could be replaced with “The collection and analysis of all Monitoring and Laboratory data for the purpose of assessment of ecological damage, preparation.”
    4. Clause 22 (7)  It appears that the draft intends to make a provision of an E.M.P., remediation and resource augmentation plan with a budgeting provision of 1.5 times the damage assessed and the economic benefit derived. If this is so, a mention of the word, “cost/budget” may have to be made in the draft. Further, it is being understood that the cost of E.M.P., which has been drafted as inclusive of the remediation and resource augmentation plans, has to be maintained at 1.5 times the cost of ecological damage plus the economic benefit derived. This does not appear to be adequate because all these plans are need based. E.M.P.  is based on E.I.A. and public hearing and the remediation and resource augmentation plans on Ecological damage assessment. Restricting the E.M.P. to just  5 times the cost of the Ecological damage assessment report may often be inadequate unless the Ministry intends that only the remediation and Resource augmentation plans, irrespective of the EMP spend, shall be 1.5 times the damage assessed.

The implementation of plans, in the draft, has also been linked to the economic benefit derived. This is an economic assessment and most of the ACO’s may not be suitably equipped to make an assessment  of economic benefits derived specially when generally ‘Profits’ may have not accrued as this stage. Also since a robust EMP, remediation and resource management plan is expected to be implemented and legal provisions also planned to be initiated, therefore the need of linkage with the economic benefit may be reconsidered. I think compensatory remediation and resource augmentation and a robust EMP coupled with the option of initiating legal proceedings could be sufficient to ensure sustainability and deterrence. I would suggest that clause 22 (7) could be considered to be replaced with:

“The appraisal committee shall stipulate the implementation of the EMP with a cost component on its best judgment based on EIA and Public Hearing and the implementation of a remediation plan and natural and community resource augmentation plans with a cost component of 1.5 times the restoration costs of the ecological damage assessed, in case of  suo moto applications or two times(2.0) the restoration cost of ecological damage assessed in cases reported by any Government Authority or found during the processing of the  Applications by the Authority or during Appraisal by the Committee.

Provided that the Ministry may prescribe suitable guidelines or mechanism through which the project proponent shall discharge the above obligation.”

  1. Clause 22 (9)  I would feel that in the last line of the clause 29(9) after the word “occurred” , the following could be added, “whichever is earlier”. This will assist in making the proviso more specific in a financial matter.
  2. Clause 22 (10)  The event sequencing appears important. I understand that the Appraisal committee will recommend an amount which will have to be approved by the Authority and the amount so decided and communicated to the proponent will need to be deposited. Further, the use of the conjunction ‘and’ after Augmentation plan in the third line appears redundant and could be deleted. I would suggest the following rephrasing to the sub clause:

“The concerned Regulatory Authority on recommendations of the Appraisal Committee will finalize, as may be found by it to be appropriate, the amount of the Bank guarantee to be taken against implementation of the EMP and Remediation and the Natural and Community Resource Augmentation plans. On being communicated by the concerned Regulatory Authority, the project proponent will be required to submit a bank guarantee, equivalent for this amount, with the SPCB or UTPCC as the case may be, valid for 05 years.

A condition shall be imposed for implementation within a period of three years as per the time schedule of component activities as may be proposed and approved in the plans. “

  1. Clause 22 (14)  Once a project proponent is applying under the violation clause of the E.I.A. notification, it should not be regarded as a further violation of the E.P. Act. The window to apply is being provided under the Act. Therefore action against section 19 should be selective and not against those persons who have violated  but their project, in the opinion of the Expert Appraisal Committee can be sustainably managed and is being considered by the Authority for a regular E.C. The moment a project executes the EMP and the remediation and augmentation plans for past damage and is granted an E.C. it becomes compliant and the case may lose ground. Instead, I would suggest that this action should be taken only if the Appraisal Committee recommends for a closure and/or there is a noncompliance of E.C conditions. Further, punitive action under section 5 of the E.P. Act also needs to be exercised and this (sec. 5 and 19) power should be retained by the Central Authority also apart from the State and Union Territory Authorities being suitably empowered.

I would feel that the Sub clause 22 (14) could be reframed so as to read, “In case the Appraisal Committee recommends closure of a project (sub clause 22.2), the concerned Authority shall take action under section 5 and 19 of the E.P. Act 1986 and/or shall inform the respective State Governments or Union Territory Administration or SPCB or UTPCC, as the case may be for taking suitable action under provisions of section 5 and 19 of the Environment Protection Act 1986.”

  1. Clause 22 (15)  Implementing a project without a valid E.C. is an offence. Consents to operate and occupancy certificates are not to be granted without fulfillment of E.C. Conditions. Starting operations without E.C. is plain non compliance. Under such circumstances there is no option but to immediately close down such projects which have consent to operate or an occupancy certificate but no E.C. I would think that treating consents to operate as provisional on one hand and asking the Boards to file an application u/s 19 of the E.P. Act on the other hand would be ambiguous and bad in law. It would also be ambiguous if the Committee and Authority decide to close a project under provisions of clause 20 (2) and the Boards continue with their consents. Activities which do not have an E.C. should not be allowed to function and hence the operation consents, occupancy certificates and other related permissions should be immediately suspended (closed) for those activities in the project which are in violation of the E.C. process. I would humbly suggest a relook into this clause 22 (14).
  1. Clause 23
    1. Clause 23.7  The clause 23.7 again leaves it to two agencies to recommend release of the Bank Guarantees. The Authority is out of the loop. Provisions could be made more specific. I have made a reference at my comments to clause 20 (5) and have suggested that “The concerned regulatory Authority shall grant a certificate of satisfactory compliance before the project is allowed to commence operations.” I have at my comment on clause 20 (8) also suggested a mechanism where the process becomes more specific between the two agencies.

I would therefore feel that this clause 23 (7) could link release of Bank Guarantee to the “Satisfactory Compliance Certificate” and the Authority approves the release of the Bank Guarantee on the report and recommendations of the R.O. of the Ministry. Ministry may like to consider revising.

  1. Clause 24   I would still feel that a cluster survey report, E.I.A. and E.M.P. may need to be prepared for all contiguous mining resource in a district through the State. If the State seeks the clearance for its contiguous mining resources  it will be a big boost to development and with a cluster EMP to be implemented by the State, would be sustainable also. The project proponents may pay their contribution. I am attaching a copy of a letter addressed to the Honourable Minister in this regards and earlier sent on 54/ARN/2015  16/4 dated 29/09/2015. The following recommendations were made:
    1. District Administration Draws up a ‘District Survey Report’ with district wise details of river/stream and other sand source, district wise availability of sand/gravel/aggregate resources and district wise details of existing mining leases of sand and aggregates.
    2. The District Administration draws up a ‘District Mining Plan’ for 15 year based on the survey report.
    3. The District Administration carries out an Environmental Impact Assessment for the Mining Plan and for areas and leases indicated as potential mining areas through the Survey Report.
    4. The District Administration applies for an Environmental Clearance for existing and potential mining areas/leases for a 15 year period to the MoEF & CC, Government of India which considers the same for appraisal after a public hearing as per prerequisites of the E.I.A. notification .
    5. Through the Environmental Clearance, the MoEF & CC approves the District Environment Management and CSR plan as suggested in the application for E.C.
    6. The District Administration Leases only mining areas covered under this Umbrella Environmental Clearance and renews the mining lease/grants fresh leases as per the particulars of leases provided under the District Survey Report and the conditions of the E.C. and informs the lessee of his liability in implementing his part of the Environment Management and C.S.R Plans.
    7. The Lessee contributes to his share of the EMP and CSR plans as decided by the District Administration and to be spent as part of the District Plant.
    8. The lessee applies for an E.C. before the competent Authority as per the E.I.A notification but without the requirements of an EIA and public hearing if the lease is covered in the district survey report and the common EIA for which an E.C. has been availed by the District Administration. Such applications could be adequately disposed off within 30 days or shorter periods of time. This may save at 200 days in the project cycle.
    9. Monitoring for compliance of conditions of the E.C. could be coordinated by the State Pollution Control Boards including also an officer from the Mining department.

Many of the recommendations have been included in the draft but the provision of enabling the District Administration to avail of an Umbrella Clearance and leasing only such areas which are under this umbrella clearance   could  be examined.

  1. Clause 26
    1. Clause 26 (16) Apart from ensuring that there is no violation, I would feel that the language may need a little change. Wonder if the clause 26 (16) could be replaced with “The projects which are not covered in the schedule, but proposed to be carried out or established in the premises of projects for which prior E.C. or E.P. as the case may be was already granted, ensuring however, that there is no violation/non compliance to the conditions of the E.C./E.P. granted for the parent project. In case there is an anticipated change in the status and capability of compliance to the earlier conditions of E.C. then the matter shall be put up as an amendment proposal.”

 In case this is accepted, this category could be also included in the list of projects that could be considered for amendment.

  1. Clause 26 (17)  Exempting all individual industries within industrial areas will be a problem unless the E.C. granted to the Industrial Area mentions the number and types of industries along with individual production capacities. I recollect that the Banthar Industrial Leather Complex at Unnao, U.P, was granted an E.C. by the MoEF where it had specified the names of the Member Industries and their peak production capacities. Ideally an E.C. issued in favor of Industrial areas should mention the type of activity and peak capacities of the Members or if Member are not finalised then the total peak capacity for homogenous industries and Peak capacity for each group in a heterogenous  mix of industries. It is only then, that after ensuring that their peak capacities are maintained the individuals could be exempt from E.C. The responsibilities for compliance may also lie with the concerned agency which promotes and manages the Industrial area. The exemption could also be considered only for those areas which have a prior E.C.

If the Ministry decides to keep this proviso then I would suggest that the sentence in parenthesis, in the last 04 lines of the clause and which read as, (Such Estates/complexes————————————————————————-                                                 industrial Estate) could be replaced with,

“(Such estates/Complexes must have a prior E.C., from the Ministry,   irrespective of their year of establishment, a clear cut list of industries/activities permitted in such areas as authorized in the E.C. with peak production capacities for each activity and a clearly identified management with the legal authority to ensure compliance to the terms and conditions of prior E.C. and be held responsible for any violation in the conditions of prior E.C. through the life of the Industrial Estate)

  1. Clause 26 (24)  The Ministry may like to examine the impacts of location of such industries and the cluster effect. May like to include safeguards. Clustered foundries have created problems in the past also. Wonder if the Ministry could examine a minimum distance clause and location criteria with reference to sensitive receptors.
  1. At of the Schedule which lists projects requiring Environmental Clearance and which deals with distilleries, in column 4 the symbol could be changed to denote less than or equal to(?) the threshold capacity while in column 3 it could be changed to  be represented as more than(>)the threshold capacity.

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