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   222 15. ENVIRONMENT Environment is a natural world in which people, animals and plants live.  Nature has been kind to mankind. But nature’s response has limits. It is very fragile and its recuperative powers are finite. It cannot stand the massive onslaught of mankind in his millions. It can not withstand his thoughtless depredations, so man must learn to respect the laws of nature and live within their bounds as the earth’s other creatures have to do. Environment is vital to supporting life, absorbing waste and providing inputs for production. Environment provides raw material and energy for economic  production and household activity. The waste products of economic and household activity are absorbed by the environment. Environment also performs amenity or ambience function. Environmental degradation is concomitant of economic growth, industrialization and surging population. Development harms the environment and the environment, in turn, adversely affects development. Environmental degradation is viewed as negative externality. For instance, pollution is a negative externality (neighbourhood cost or spill over cost). Negative externality occurs when a factory pollutes the air. The cost is borne  by those who breathe the polluted air. Thus it is a side effect of production or consumption (person or businesses other than the producer or consumers are affected). Air pollution reduces life expectancy of individual and causes the occurrence of acid rain which destroys many lakes and seas while water pollution  poisons fish and makes them dangerous for human consumption. 15.1. Sources of Pollution and Environmental Degradation:    Air - Smoke, air borne lead, chloroflurocarbon, hydroi fluorocarbon.    Water - Chemicals, inorganic fertilisers, mining of low grade waste, industrial effluents.    Land - Bio-medical waste, e-waste and solid waste, toxic waste, open defecation.    Deforestation and over-exploitation of forests beyond its sustainable yield  * .    Extinction of species.    Impact of poverty on environmental quality. The sea is used as a receptacle for a wide range of industrial toxins. As a result, coral reef and other marine life get damaged and leads to depletion of fish stock. This type of damage to environment is under constant threat to overall environment. Ozone hole and ozone depletion occur owing to increasing amount of CFC and HFC. What we need is ozone – friendly and environment-friendly economic  policies. *  Sustainable yield is the amount of a renewable resource like fish that can be harvested while still leaving the population constant.   223 1 5.2. Pollution Control Boards: The Central Pollution Control Board and State Pollution Control Board were established by the Government of India and Government of Tamil Nadu respectively. The Department of Environment is working under the State Government. Their important functions include taking legislative measures to protect the environment and control pollution of environment and avoid the taking up of environmentally-damaging economic activities in environmentally sensitive areas. Control of pollution is a costly job. Control measures encompass assigning  property rights in the case of tragedy of commons, imposing green tax, subsidizing  pollution control equipment, recycling of waste, encouraging establishment of effluent treatment plants, sewage disposal by choosing between land filling or incineration, dealing with traffic congestion by automobiles, conducting Environment Impact Assessment, etc. Areas identified for capacity-building are: Environment Policy Planning, Environmental Administration, Decentralisation of Environmental Management, Implementation of Environmental Law, Monitoring com-pliance in specific priority areas. 15.3. Department of Environment: The Department of Environment is engaged in promoting environmental awareness in the State. Activities relating to this Department are: -   Coastal zone management -   River and lake conservation works   -   Abatement of pollution in five polluted stretches of river Cauvery   -    National river conservation   -   Chennai City river conservation project   -    National lake conservation programme   -   Generating environmental awareness and capacity-building. 15.4. Role and Performance of Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board: Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) has the responsibilities of enforcing the provisions of the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Cess Act, 1977, the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981, enacted in the Parliament and the rules made under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986. Industries have been categorized into three categories as `red’ , `orange’ , and `green’  category based on the pollution load discharged. Highly polluting industries are classified as red category industries, medium polluting industries are classified as orange category industries and less polluting industries are classified as green category industries. From August 2007 onwards, the highly polluting red category industries have been split into ultra red and red categories in order to hae effective monitoring. The preservation and conservation of environment has assumed much significance in the recent past. Commensurate with industrial expansion, a strong   224 regulatory mechanism was put in place to ensure minimum environmental standard. The following 17 industries are highly polluting industries. 1. Aluminium 10. Petroleum 2. Copper 11. Refinery 3. Fertiliser 12. Zinc 4. Pesticide 13. Cement 5. Pulp and paper 14. Dyes and DI 6. TPP 15. Leather (tanning) 7. Caustic 16. Pharmaceuticals 8. Distillery 17. Sugar 9. Iron and steel 15.4.1. Monitoring of Industries and Issues of Consent: With the rapid industrialization in Tamil Nadu, there has been a marked increase in the need for continuous monitoring of pollution of industrial activities. The field officers of the TNPCB inspect the industries under their jurisdictions  periodically to assess the adequacy of pollution control measures provided by the industries to treat sewage, tradde effluent and emissions and monitor their  performance. Table below presents information on the number of orders granted for consent to establish and consent to operate under Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1974 and Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1981. Table – 15.1: Number of Consent Orders Issued to Establish and Operate under Water Act and Air Act (in Nos.) Under Water Act Under Air Act Sl. No. Period Consent to establish Consent to operate Consent to establish Consent to operate 1. 2008-09 1229 1054 1228 1056 2. 2009-10 1553 2264 1550 2261 3. 2010-11 1171 1053 1175 1050 Source: Data collected from TNPCB. The Board issued orders to close the polluting industrial units if they were found to emit effluents into the atmosphere beyond the limit. Information in this regard is set out below. Table – 15.2: Number of Industries for which Show Cause Notices and Clsoure Orders were Issued Sl. No. Period Show Cause Notices Closure Orders Issued 1. 2008-09 2558 535 2. 2009-10 2828 392 3. 2010-11 2257 1768 Source: Data collected from TNPCB.   225 15.4..2. Care Centre: The Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board enforces the Water (Prevention and Control Pollution) Act, 1974, the Air (Prevention and Control Pollution) Act, 1981 and various Rules under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986. The Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board established a CARE Centre as an industry-friendly initiative to help industries to file applications painlessly and to expedite the process of issue of consent / authorization at a single point. All the consent fee payments can also be made at the Care Centre. In the first phase, this Centre will cater to the needs of industries / local bodies located in Chennai, Thiruvallur and Kancheepuram District, comprising industries in Chennai, Tambaram, Ambattur, Kancheepuram, Sriperumpudur, Tiruvallur areas. The Care Centre has simplified and standardized the receipt of applications. The Care Centre is instructed to issue consent within the time limits specified below. 15.4.3. Hot Spot Monitoring: The TNPCB identified 10 hot spot areas based on the location of hazardous waste nature of the industries, high level of polluting industries and cluster of highly  polluting industries. In these areas TNPCB posted one Assistant Environmental Engineer for each area for effective monitoring and to contact local public directly. The ten locations are as follows: 1.   Manali 6. Sriperumpudur 2.   Cuddalore 7. IT Corridor at Perungudi 3.   Thoothukudi 8. Perundurai 4.   Mettur 9. Gummidipoondi 5.   Ranipet 10. Tiruppur With regard to any pollution problem arising from the industries in these areas, the pubic can contact the locally available Board Engineers directly for taking corrective action. 15.4.4. Construction of Common Effluent Treatment Plants (CETP): Construction of CETP is capital-intensive by nature.   The TNPCB plays an important role in the establishment of Common Effluent Treatment Plants (CETPs) for clusters of small-scale industries in various parts of the State. Small-scale industries often express financial difficulties, lack of space and other reasons, which  prevent them from putting up individual effluent treatment plants. The Board assists the units on mobilization of financial resources and in the technical scrutiny of the  proposals for the establishment of common effluent treatment plants. The establishment of the CETP for tannery units in Nagalkeni, Pallavaram and Chennai is a case in point. Sl. No. Category of industries Time limit for issue of consent / rejection of application etc. 1. Red 30 days 2. Ornage 15 days 3. Green 10 days


Jul 23, 2017
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