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FACT told to stop operations at acid plant

Staff Reporter

Ensure adequate pollution control steps

KOCHI: The Local Area Environment Committee (LAEC) for Eloor-Edayar recommended that the operation of the acid plant of FACT, Udyogamandal, be stopped and that it be allowed to resume production only after ensuring adequate and fool-proof pollution control measures to the satisfaction of LAEC and the State Pollution Control Board (PCB).

The LAEC which conducted an inspection in the Eloor-Edayar area on June 27 and July 8 found that the emission through stack no.15 of the acid plant exceeded the permissible limits. The LAEC, in a statement, said that the on-line stack monitoring system of the company showed that the excess emission of pollutants was much beyond the approved parameters. This was a serous lapse and posed danger to the environment and local community. The LAEC said that the inspecting team had asked the company to furnish the statement of on-line recorder of the past seven days online monitoring. The company, however, could not produce the statement.

The company confessed that the manual analysis to check the concentration of the pollutants was not done from the stack inspection duct by climbing up to the sample point. According to the company, the ladder was rusted and unsafe for use. So, the sample was collected from a pipe connected to the duct of the chimney. Asked by the LAEC as to how the samples taken from the pipe could reveal the pressure of emission, the company admitted to the faulty nature of manual analysis.

The laboratory reports of the manual analysis furnished to the LAEC was found to be unreliable. The recurring incidents of fugitive emission was a matter of grave concern.

The LAEC said that the unit should not be allowed to continue production without steps being taken to control the emission. The LAEC said the report had been forwarded to the Supreme Court Monitoring Committee and to the PCB for appropriate action.

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