Environmental Clearance is the procedure to get clearance from the government for the installation and modification (amendment) of certain projects. It is mandatory for projects which can cause high environmental Pollution. Indian Constitution made a list of those projects under EIA Notification 2006, which includes mining, thermal power plant, infrastructure, etc.
What is Environmental Clearance?
Advent of industrialization brought many changes in our lifestyle and environment, hasn’t it? And throughout these years, the awareness towards environment and the concern for its protection has made the Indian Constitution to enforce some laws and regulation towards this matter like Environmental Clearance.
Environmental Clearance are mandatory regardless of the type of project in areas which are ecologically fragile such as – coastal area, wetlands, anthropological sites, international border areas, national parks & sanctuaries, areas of scientific and geological interests, etc.
The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has also introduced a colour codification for industries depending on their impact of environment. Industries are classified on a pollution potential index as red, orange, green and white industries to differentiate environmental clearance process across categories.
|Pollution Index Score 60 and Above||Pollution Index Score 41 to 59||Pollution Index Score 21 to 40||Pollution Index Score up to 20|
* Hazardous Chemicals Manufacturing
* Lead and Battery Manufacturing
* Cement Industry
* Nuclear Power Plants
* Bakeries and Confectionery units
* Food and Food Processing including fruits and vegetables processing
* Automobile Servicing, Repairing and Painting
* Building & Infrastructure projects
* Ayurvedic and Homeopathic medicines without boiler
* Carpentry & wooden Furniture
* Minerelized water
* Ready Mix Concrete
* Blending and packing of Tea
* Cotton & Woolen Hosiers making
* Organic Manure Mixing
* Diesel Pump Repairing & Servicing
Did you know industries falling under White category are those who can function without seeking Environmental Clearance?
Purpose of Environmental Clearance
The main purpose behind Environmental Clearance is to assess the impact of the proposed project on environment and people, and to try to abate or minimize the impact of proposed project on environment and people.
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Procedure for Environmental Clearance
To get Environment Clearance for a proposed project following steps are required to be followed.
1. Identification of location
A location for the proposed project should be selected which will comply with existing guidelines. If project site does not comply with existing guidelines the proponent has to identify other alternative site for the proposed project.
The project proponent then will assess in which category the proposed project falls in and if it requires environmental clearance and environment impact assessment study.
There are two categories – A category and B category.
- Projects falling under A category go to MoEFCC for clearance.
- Projects falling under B category go to State government for clearance which further gets categorized into B1 and B2 projects. B2 projects do not require preparation of EIA report. But depending upon the project and its location the Appraisal Committee can ask project proponent to carry out EIA study.
3. Public hearing
The Public hearing is a mandatory step in the process of environmental clearance for certain developmental projects. It is a part of EIA study. This provides public of an area to come forward and express their concerns and views regarding the proposed project to the project proponent and the Government.
The project proponent then has to submit an application for environmental clearance. The Application process is Online.
- The projects falling under A category will apply on MoEFCC website.
- The projects falling under B category will apply on State website. For Maharashtra State, the application is done on Maharashtra Pollution Control Board‘s (MPCB) website and a new website is also been launched for the same – Parivesh.
Following Flow chart shows the application process
5. Environmental Appraisal
The documents submitted by project proponent will be first scrutinized by a disciplinary committee. They might also conduct a site visit if required.
In Maharashtra state, the application is first scrutinized by SEAC Committee (State Environment Appraisal Committee).
There are 3 SEAC Committee’s.
- SEAC 1 gives appraisal for projects like industries, mining etc.
- SEAC 2 Committee gives appraisal for Infrastructure projects located in Mumbai and its suburbs.
- SEAC 3 Committee gives appraisal for infrastructure projects excluding Mumbai and its suburbs.
After scrutinized by the SEAC Committee, the project if accepted will be recommended to SEIAA (State Environment Impact Assessment Authority). The project will then be scrutinized by SEIAA for the compliance points recommended by SEAC and if accepted, SEIAA will grant Environment Clearance with certain conditions.
If the conditions said in the Environment Clearance are not followed then the Appraisal Committee has the right to cancel EC granted for that project.
*The EC granted is valid for certain years depending upon the type of project. If EC is expired, the project proponent can go for renewal of EC by following the same procedure.
Now that you have got an idea about Environment Clearance and its purpose behind, you can check out status of major projects and take part in the public hearing and give your views. You can also use this knowledge before buying any property, be it your home as well.
List of projects require Environmental Clearance
- Mining , extraction of natural resources and power generation (for a specified production capacity)
- Primary mineral Processing
- Materials Production
- Materials Processing
- Manufacturing/ Fabrication
- Service Sectors
- Physical Infrastructure including Environmental Services
- Building/Construction projects/Area Development Projects and Townships
Environmental Clearance Certificate
Before starting any new infrastructure or expansion project, Environmental clearance certificate is required from central or state pollution control board. Environmental clearance certificate signifies that particular project produce no harm to environment and society.
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The purpose of Environmental Clearance is to assess impact of the planned project on the environment and people and to try to abate / minimize the same. it seeks to curb industries and projects that supposedly hamper the environment and living species in one way or another. It serves as a legal consent for industries that are unfriendly to environment. It has been made mandatory under Environment Protection Act, 1986.
The environmental clearance process comprises of four stages, namely: Screening, Scoping, Consultation and Appraisal.
The EIA Notification of 1994 made the environmental clearance mandatory for all new projects and expansion / modernization of existing projects covering 29 disciplines (later increased to 32 ) which included hydro-power, major irrigation and flood control projects.
Environmental Clearance is required to control industries and projects which cause harm to the environment and society. It basically serves as legal permission to the industries which cause pollution as per the Environment Protection Act 1986.