Chapter 08 The Environmental LawsDocument Transcript
As a fallout of industrialization, maximum exploitation of natural resources has become a desirable objective with
the attendant pollution of air and water being accepted as unavoidable. Adoption of this model in India, coupled
with dependence on cheap but wasteful and outmoded imported technologies, has naturally created a backlog of
pollution, which is truly staggering. A study in 1995 estimated the economic loss due to air pollution alone in 36
cities of India at $2,102 million/year and consequent premature deaths at 40,351/yr.
Source of The Environment Protection Act, 1986
The United Nations Conference on the Human Environment held at Stockholm in June 1972, it was decided to
take appropriate steps for the protection and improvement of human environment. India was a participant
country. Thus for the purpose of implementing the said decision, the Environment Protection Act, 1986 was
enacted on 23rd May 1986.
An umbrella Act
This Act is an umbrella Act. Environment has been defined to include water, air and land and the inter-
relationship, which exists among and between water, air and land, and human beings, other living creatures,
plants, microorganism and property.
Environmental pollution means the presence in the environment of any solid, liquid or gaseous substance in such
concentration as may be, or tend to be, injurious to environment.
Power of Central Government to take measures to protect and improve environment [SECTION 3]
The Central Govt. has been empowered to take following actions including issue of requisite Rules, Orders,
(i) co-ordination of actions by the State Governments, officers and other authorities.
(ii) planning and execution of a nation-wide programme for the prevention, control and abatement of
(iii) laying down standards for the quality of environment in its various aspects;
(iv) laying down standards for emission or discharge of environmental pollutants from various sources
(v) restriction of areas in which any industries, operations or processes or class of industries, operations or
processes shall not be carried out or shall be carried out subject to certain safeguards;
(vi) laying down procedures and safeguards for the prevention of accidents which may cause environmental
pollution and remedial measures for such accidents;
(vii) laying down procedures and safeguards for the handling of hazardous substances;
(viii) examination of such manufacturing processes, materials and substances as are likely to cause
(ix) carrying out and sponsoring investigations and research relating to problems of environmental pollution;
(x) inspection of any premises, plant, equipment, machinery, manufacturing or other processes, materials or
substances and giving, by order, of such directions to such authorities, officers or persons as it may
consider necessary to take steps for the prevention, control and abatement of environmental pollution;
(xi) establishment or recognition of environmental laboratories and institutes to carry out the functions
entrusted to such environmental laboratories and institutes under this Act;
(xii) collection and dissemination of information in respect of matters relating to environmental pollution;
(xiii) preparation of manuals, codes or guides relating to the prevention, control and abatement of
(xiv) such other matters as the Central Government deems necessary or expedient for the purpose of securing
the effective implementation of the provisions of this Act.
The Central Government may appoint appropriate number of officers and entrust them powers and duties for the
purpose of this Act.
Establishment of Central Pollution Control Board
Central Pollution Control Board has been established under the Act to issue directions to any industry or any local
or other authority for the violation of the standards and rules relating to hazardous waste, bio-medical waste,
hazardous chemicals, industrial solid waste, municipal solid waste including plastic waste etc.
Establishment of Environmental Laboratories [SECTION 12]
The Central Government may notify the establishment environmental laboratories and also recognise laboratories
or institutes as environmental laboratories to carry out the prescribed functions.
Appointment of Government Analysts [SECTION 13]
The Central Government may appoint Government Analysts for the purpose of analysis of samples of air, water,
soil or other substance sent for analysis to any environmental laboratory or institutes.
Penalty for contravention [SECTION 15]
IIPM 53 CH. – 8 ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS
Penalty for contravention of the Act Rules framed thereunder, Orders, Directions issued by the Central
Government from time to time shall be imprisonment upto five years with or without fine upto Rs. One lakh For
continuing contravention fine of Rs. 5,000 has been prescribed.
Contravention by Companies or Government Departments [SECTIONS 16 & 17]
Company - every person who is directly in charge of, and responsible for the conduct of the business of the
Government Departments - Head of the Department shall be deemed to be guilty of the offence
Bar of jurisdiction [SECTION 22]
The civil court shall not have jurisdiction to entertain any suit or proceeding in respect of anything done, action
taken or order or direction issued by the Central Government under this Act.
Effect of other laws [SECTION 24]
The provisions of this Act shall have an overriding in so far as other Acts affecting any factory is concerned.
Environmental clearance – a prerequisite
Pursuant to this Act, the Central Government has issued various Notifications mandating restrictions and
prohibitions on the expansion and modernization of any activity or new projects unless environmental Clearance
has been accorded.
Other measures initiated by the Centr Government
Following Rules, Notifications, Orders, Directions have been issued by the Central Government
(i) State Coastal Zone Management Authority
(ii) Eco-marks Scheme
(iii) Eco-sensitive Zones
(iv) Hazardous Substances Management – batteries, Municipal waste, Recycle Plastic Manufacture and usage,
Chemical accidents, Bio-medical waste etc.
(v) Noise Pollution
(vi) Animal Welfare
(vii) Public liability Insurance
Enactment of The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 and Cess Act, 1977, Rules thereunder
and The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1981 and Rules thereunder.
The National Environment Appellate Authority Act 1997
This Appellate Authority has been established to hear appeals with respect to restriction of areas in which any
industries, operations or processes or class of industries, operations or processes shall not be carried out or shall
be carried out subject to certain safeguards under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 and for matters
connected therewith or incidental thereto.
The National Environment Tribunal Act 1995
United Nations Conference on Environment and Development held at Rio de Janeiro in June 1992 decided that
the member countries to develop national laws regarding liability and compensation for the victims of pollution
and other environmental damages. Accordingly, the National Environment Tribunal Act 1995 was enacted.
LECTURES BY PROF. S N GHOSH