Environmental legislation

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Environmental legislation


  • The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Cess Act, 1977
  • Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980
  • Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972
  • Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981
  • Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000
  • Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.
  • Some laws related to hazardous waste
  • Factories Act, 1948 and its amendment in 1987

Environmental laws are generally designed and implemented to protect natural resources. in fact they probably fr

Amended to regulate the production and emission of pollutants, reduce the effects of pollutants, or regulate production processes that affect the environment. It is important to note that the implications of the enforcement of environmental laws are also visible on the economic, political, social and cultural status of the country. Therefore, environmental laws are important instruments to implement clean and efficient practices to protect the environment.

Rapid economic, scientific and technological progress has shown massive consequences in the form of degradation of the ecological balance. Due to the large scale of the environmental crisis, the global community has expressed major concern on environmental protection and environmental development. In the midst of some serious efforts, significant developments took place in the international scene.

The world’s attention was drawn to the environment in a sincere attempt to tackle pollution control at the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment held in Stockholm in June 1972. The Declaration on the Human Environment was passed containing twenty-six principles, the main objective of which was to overcome the environmental problems related to the development of the states and to provide clean and healthy living conditions.

The Earth Summit, held by the United Nations General Assembly in Rio de Janeiro from June 3 to 14, 1992, was an important milestone achieved towards the protection of the environment. The conference witnessed the largest gathering of world leaders ever in history.

– brainstorming and chalking out a blue print for the survival of the planet. It added a new dimension to international negotiations on environmental and development issues.

The main objective of the summit was to find an equitable balance between the economic, social and environmental needs of present and future generations and lay the foundation for a global partnership between developed and developing countries on the one hand as well as government agencies and non-governmental organizations on the one hand. Among the various achievements of the Rio conference was the signing of two conventions, one on biological diversity and the other on climate change.

The World Summit on Sustainable Development was held in Johannesburg where, 10 years after the Rio Conference, the summit reaffirmed sustainable development as a central e.

part of the international agenda and has given a new impetus to global action to fight


Poverty and protecting the environment. The Summit’s Implementation Plan is a seventy-one page document that aims to set the world’s environmental agenda for the next ten years and

The subject is expected to become a model for international agreements. The Plan of Implementation aims to build on the achievements made in UNCED and commit to taking actions and measures at all levels to implement the Rio Principles and Agenda 21.



impact in india

In the early years of Indian independence, there was no precise environmental policy. From time to time, the government tried to make efforts according to the growing needs of the society. The period of the 1970s saw a lot of changes in the policies and approaches of the Government of India when its attitude shifted from environmental indifference and later took manifold steps to improve the environmental situation. However, it must be acknowledged that with the strengthening of public interest litigation and increased commitment on the part of the central government in the late 1970s, constitutional provisions expanded to include aspects relating to the environment.

The year 1972 proved to be a milestone in the history of environmental management in India. This is because prior to 1972, environmental concerns such as sewage disposal, sanitation and public health were dealt with by different federal ministries and each pursued these objectives in the absence of a proper coordination system at the federal or intergovernmental level. When the twenty-fourth United Nations General Assembly decided to hold a conference on the human environment in 1972, and requested a report from each member country on the state of the environment, a committee on the human environment was formed under the chairmanship of Pitamber Pant, a member of the Planning Commission. Went. Established to prepare India report. With the help of reports, the impact of population explosion on the natural environment and the current status of environmental problems were examined.



Environmental Law in India

  Constitutional Provisions for Environment Protection in India

The Constitution of India as originally adopted did not contain any direct and specific provision regarding the protection of the natural environment. Nevertheless, a careful analysis of the various provisions prior to the 42nd Constitutional Amendment reveals that some of

The Directive Principles of State Policy showed little inclination towards environmental protection. These Directive Principles impose a duty on the State, individually and collectively, to improve the general level of health in the country and to create conditions for the protection and improvement of the natural environment. These directions were judicially enforceable and still are not. Keeping in view the Stockholm Conference and the growing awareness of the environmental crisis, the Indian Constitution was amended in the year 1976. This gave it an environmental dimension and added direct provisions for the protection of ecological and biological diversity.

Article 48-A

The responsibility of the State with respect to environmental protection is laid down under Article 48-A of our Constitution which comes under the Directive Principles of State Policy. According to this article “the State shall endeavor to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wildlife of the country”.

Article 51-A(g)

Environment protection is a fundamental duty of every citizen of this country under Article 51-A(g) of our Constitution, which reads as follows, “It shall be the duty of every citizen of India to protect and preserve the natural environment including forests, lakes and Improve. Have compassion for rivers and wildlife and living creatures.

Article 21

Article 21 of the Constitution is a fundamental right which is as follows:

“No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law.”

Article 47

The responsibility of the State with regard to raising the level of nutrition and the standard of living and improving public health is laid down under Article 47 of the Constitution which reads as follows:

“The State shall regard the raising of the level of nutrition and the standard of living of its people and the improvement of public health as among its primary duties and, in particular,


The State shall endeavor to prohibit the consumption, except for medicinal purposes, of intoxicating drinks and drugs injurious to health.”

In the year 1974, the 42nd amendment to the constitution was brought in, in which the state government was given the responsibility to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wildlife of the country. The latter, under fundamental duties, makes it the fundamental duty of every citizen to protect and improve the natural environment.

To have compassion for forests, lakes, rivers and wildlife and to have compassion for living beings.








  environmental act


  Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974

One of India’s major environmental enactments came just two years after the Stockholm Conference in 1974. The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act was passed with the objective of preventing and controlling water pollution and maintaining and restoring the purity of water. , The Water Act represents India’s first attempt to deal with an environmental issue from a legal perspective.

The act represents India’s first attempt to comprehensively deal with environmental issues. The Act prohibits the discharge of pollutants in excess of a given standard into water bodies, and prescribes penalties for non-compliance. The Act was amended in 1988 to bring it in line with the provisions of the EPA, 1986. This CPCB (Centre

National Pollution Control Board), which sets standards for the prevention and control of water pollution. At the state level, the SPCBs (State Pollution Control Boards) work under the direction of the CPCB and the state government. These boards are tasked with monitoring the status of water pollution in the country and setting standards for acceptable and unacceptable levels of pollution.



The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Cess Act, 1977

The Act provides for the levy and collection of a cess on water consumed by industries and local authorities. It aims to augment the resources of the Central and State Boards for the prevention and control of water pollution. Following this act, the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Cess Rules were framed in 1978 to define the standards and signs for the type and location of meters that every consumer of water is required to install.


From this period onwards, the central government is considered to be highly pro-active from an environmental point of view. In 1976, the Constitution of India was amended to include a separate fundamental duties chapter. The 1980s saw the creation of several environment-specific organizations. In the year 1980, the Forest (Conservation) Act was passed to conserve forests and prevent further deforestation.



Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980

This act was adopted to protect and conserve forests. The Act restricts the powers of the State with respect to the dereservation of forests and the use of forest land for non-forest purposes (the term “non-forest purpose” includes any land for cultivation of cash crops, plantation crops, horticulture or any other kind). also includes clearing of forest land (for purposes other than reafforestation).

  Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972

Recognizing the importance of wildlife resources and for the conservation of these resources, India has taken important steps by establishing Wildlife Board of India (1952), creation of Wildlife Park Sanctuaries, Wildlife (Protection) Act (1972), International Convention One side has been formed. Trade in endangered species of flora and fauna (CITES, 1976) and by initiating conservation projects for individual species such as hangul (1970), lion (1972), tiger (1973), crocodile (1974), etc.

The Wildlife (Protection) Act (1972) establishes a network of ecologically important protected areas. The Act empowers the central and state governments to declare any area as a wildlife sanctuary, national park or closed area. There is a complete ban on any kind of industrial activity inside these protected areas. It provides the authorities for the administration and implementation of the Act; regulating the hunting of wild animals; protect designated plants, sanctuaries, national parks and closed areas; prohibiting trade or commerce in wild animals or animal articles; and miscellaneous matters. The Act prohibits hunting of animals without the permission of the authorized officer when an animal has become dangerous to human life or property or has become so disabled or sick that it cannot be cured. The almost complete ban on hunting was made more effective by the 1991 Amendment Act.



  Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981

It was enacted by invoking the power of the Central Government under Article 253. The Air Act included several distinctive features. The Preamble to the Air Act clearly states


This act represents the implementation of the decisions made at the Stockholm Conference. Also, a notification related to Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules was also made in the year 2000 for the purpose of maintaining the ambient air quality standards with respect to noise.

Ambient air quality standards were established under the 1981 Act to combat the problems associated with air pollution. The Act provides means for the control and abatement of air pollution. The Act seeks to tackle air pollution by prohibiting the use of polluting fuels and substances, as well as by regulating equipment that promotes air pollution. Under the Act, pollution control is carried out in the establishment or operation of any industrial plant.

requires concurrence from the State Boards. The boards are also expected to test air in air pollution control areas, inspect pollution control equipment and manufacturing processes.

The National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for major pollutants were notified by the CPCB (Central Pollution Control Board) in April 1994. These are considered to be the levels of air quality required with an adequate margin of safety for the protection of public health, vegetation and property. , NAAQS sets specific standards for industrial, residential, rural and other sensitive areas. Industry-specific emission standards have also been developed for various industries such as iron and steel plants, cement plants, fertilizer plants, oil refineries and aluminum industries. The ambient quality standards prescribed in India are similar to those prevalent in many developed and developing countries.

In order to empower the Central and State Pollution Boards to deal with serious emergencies, the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) No.

The Insolvency Act, 1987 was enacted. The Boards were authorized to take immediate measures to deal with such emergencies and to recover the expenses incurred from the offenders. The power to cancel consent for non-fulfillment of prescribed conditions has also been emphasized in the Air Act amendment.

The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Rules, framed in 1982, define the procedures for conduct of meetings of the Boards, powers of presiding officers, decision-making, quorum; The manner in which the records of the meeting etc. were to be established. They also prescribed the manner and purpose of taking the assistance of experts and the fees to be paid to them.




Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000

The objective of this act is to regulate and control noise from sources such as industrial activity, construction activity, generator sets, loud speakers, public address systems, music systems, horns of vehicles and other mechanical equipment. Prescribed ambient noise levels are to be complied with. Loudspeaker should not be used without obtaining written permission from the authority. If the noise level exceeds the ambient standards by 10 dB, a complaint can be lodged with the authority.





  Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.

In the wake of the Bhopal gas tragedy, the Government of India enacted the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986. Existing laws prior to the enactment of the EPA essentially focused on specific pollutants (such as air and water). Through the enactment of the EPA, the need for a single authority with a lead role for environmental protection was met. It is in the form of an umbrella legislation designed to provide a framework for the Central Government to coordinate the activities of various Central and State authorities established under previous Acts. It is also in the form of an enabling legislation, which gives wide powers to the executive to enable the bureaucrats to make necessary rules and regulations.

The Act is a comprehensive legislation designed to provide a framework for coordination of the Central and State authorities established under the Water (Prevention and Control) Act, 1974 and the Air (Prevention and Control) Act, 1981. Under this Act, the Central Government is empowered to take necessary measures to protect and improve the quality of the environment by prescribing standards for emissions and discharges; regulating the location of industries; management of hazardous waste, and protection of public health and welfare.

From time to time the Central Government issues notification under EPA for protection of ecologically sensitive areas or issues guidelines for matters under EPA. Some of the notifications issued under this act are:

  1. a) Environmental Impact Assessment of Development Projects Notification, (1994 and amended in 2006). As per this notification, all the projects listed under Schedule I require environmental clearance from the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF). Projects falling under the unlicensed category of the new industrial policy also require clearance from the Ministry of Environment and Forests. All developmental projects, whether or not included in Schedule I, if located


In critical areas, approval from the MoEF will have to be obtained. Industrial projects with an investment of more than Rs 500 million will have to take the approval of the MoEF and further obtain an LOI (Letter of Intent) from the Ministry of Industry and an NOC (No Objection Certificate) from the SPCB and the State Forest Department, if the location involves forest land. Once the NOC is obtained, the LOI is converted into an industrial license by the state authority. The notification also laid down procedural requirements for setting up and operating new power plants. As per this notification, two-stage clearance is required for site-specific projects such as pithead thermal power plants and valley projects. Site clearance is given in the first stage and final environment clearance is given in the second stage. apubli

The hearing has been made mandatory for the projects covered by this notification. This is an important step in providing transparency and giving a greater role to local communities.

  1. b) The Doon Valley Notification (1989), which prohibits setting up of industries consuming more than 24 metric tonnes (million tonnes) of coal/fuel per day in the Doon Valley.
  2. c) Coastal Regulation Zone Notification (1991), which regulates activities in coastal areas. As per this notification, dumping of ash or any other waste is prohibited in the CRZ. Thermal power plants (only onshore facilities for transportation of raw materials, facilities for intake of cooling water and outfall for discharge of treated waste water/cooling water) require clearance from MoEF.
  3. d) Complementing the above Acts is the Atomic Energy Act of 1982, which was introduced to deal with radioactive waste. In 1988, the Motor Vehicles Act was enacted to regulate vehicular traffic, besides ensuring proper packaging, labeling and transportation of hazardous waste. Various aspects of vehicular pollution have also been notified under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986. Mass emission norms were notified in 1990, which were made more stringent in 1996. These standards were again revised in 2000 and for the first time separate

Responsibilities were set for vehicle owners, manufacturers and enforcing agencies.



Some laws related to hazardous waste

There are many laws that directly or indirectly deal with hazardous waste. The relevant Acts are Factories Act, 1948, Public Liability Insurance Act, 1991,


Certain Notifications under the National Environment Tribunal Act, 1995 and the Environment Protection Act of 1986. A brief description of each of these is given below.




Factories Act, 1948 and its amendment in 1987

The Factories Act, 1948 was a post-independence legislation that clearly showed concern for the environment. The primary objective of the Act of 1948 is to ensure the welfare of workers not only in working conditions in factories but also in the benefits of their employment. While ensuring the safety and health of workers, the Act contributes to environmental protection. The Act contains a comprehensive list of 29 categories of industries involving hazardous processes, which are defined as any process or activity where, unless special care is taken, the raw materials or intermediates used therein or finished product, by-product, waste or effluent:

 Causes material harm to the health of persons engaged

 Result in pollution of the general environment




Public Liability Insurance Act (PLIA), 1991

The Act covers accidents related to hazardous substances and insurance coverage for these. Where death or injury occurs as a result of an accident, the Act makes the owner liable to provide relief as specified in the Schedule to the Act. The PLIA was amended in 1992, and authorized the central government to set up an Environmental Relief Fund to make relief payments.

  National Environment Tribunal Act, 1995

The Act provides for strict liability for damages arising out of any accident occurring during the handling of any hazardous substance and provides for the establishment of a National Environment Tribunal for effective and expeditious disposal of cases arising out of such accidents. Establishment, with a view to providing relief and compensation for damages caused to persons, property and the environment and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. The applying claimant can also apply for immediate relief under the Public Liability Insurance Act.

Under EPA1986, MoEF has issued several notifications to deal with the problem of hazardous waste management. This includes:

  The Hazardous Wastes (Management and Handling) Rules, 1989, which brought out a guide for manufacture, storage and import of hazardous chemicals and management of hazardous waste.

The Biomedical Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 1998, were made along the parallel line for proper disposal, segregation, transportation etc. of infectious waste. Proper segregation and labeling of waste as specified. Installation of pollution control systems such as incinerators, autoclaves or microwaves and meeting prescribed limits of emissions were made mandatory. Guidelines were also given for the transportation of such waste along with the compliance of the prescribed time limit for setting up the pollution control system.

  The Municipal Solid Waste (Management and Management) Rules, 2000, which aimed to enable municipalities to dispose of municipal solid waste in a scientific manner.

  The Hazardous Waste (Management and Handling) Amendment Rules, 2000, a recent notification issued with a view to provide guidelines for import and export of hazardous waste in the country.


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