Mercury remediation: NGT issues injunction against HUL

Asks Central Pollution Control Board to get expert opinion

August 06, 2018 12:36 am | Updated 12:36 am IST - CHENNAI

The National Green Tribunal has granted an interim injunction restraining Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL) from upscaling the mercury remediation process at Kodaikanal till the next hearing in the case on October 4.

The tribunal has also directed the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to obtain an opinion from any institute having expert opinion on mercury contamination and examine the trial results undertaken by National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) at the site.

The directions were given in a case filed by Navroz Mody, a resident of Kodaikanal and member of the Local Area Environment Committee (LEAC).

Remediation levels

Mr. Mody had moved the tribunal against the remediation levels that have been set at 20-25 mg/kg, arguing that it was not scientifically tenable and that the right standard was 6.6 mg/kg.

The tribunal noted that the issue was raised before the Madras High Court that allowed the applicant to approach the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.

The Ministry filed its stand before the tribunal justifying the standard that was being followed at the Kodaikanal site.

“According to the applicant, the stand does not have any sound technical basis. The same cannot be mechanically accepted without expert opinion,” the Bench comprising Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, Justice Jawad Rahi, Justice S.P. Wangdi and expert member Dr. Nagin Nanda observed.

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