Recalcitrant industries face closure

In a bid to enforce stricter emission monitoring norms, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has directed State Pollution Control Boards (SPCB) to close down industrial units that haven’t installed Online Continuous Emission Monitoring Systems (OCEMS).

It will also now become mandatory for a new industrial unit to install an OCEM to commence operations. The CPCB has finalised guidelines this month that specify the kind of sensors and monitoring equipment that can be deployed for the purpose.

The CPCB has since 2015 made it mandatory for industries to install OCEMS. While the government claims a compliance of nearly 80%, updated figures this year on recalcitrant industries are not available.

Constant tracking

Industries, particularly so-called Grossly Polluting Industries, are mandated to report their emissions to pollution control boards. The CPCB has been insisting that industries install OCEMS that relay data to the CPCB as well as SPCB offices. Whenever, say ammonia discharge levels are breached by an industry, an sms alert is sent out to officials who can then trigger action.

In a letter issued in April, the CPCB directs SPCB/PCC (pollution control committee) to issue “…closure directions under the Water and Air pollution control acts… to industries falling under 17 category of industries…if found operating without OCEMS.”

The industries that require OCEMS include distilleries (including fermentation industry), sugar, fertiliser, pulp & paper (paper manufacturing with or without pulping), pharmaceuticals, dyes and dye-intermediates, pesticides, tanneries, thermal power plants, iron and steel, zinc, copper and aluminium smelters.

In 2014, the CPCB said there were 3,266 of these Grossly Polluting Industrial units under the 17 categories above, out of which 2,328 are compliant to environmental standards. More than 550 are non compliant and 367 have been closed down.

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Printable version | Oct 14, 2021 2:26:58 AM |

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