SC demands Centre’s response on implementation of emission norms for coal power plants

CSE's analysis has shown that the power sector is all set to avoid complying with the new emission norms

By DTE Staff
Published: Friday 17 November 2017

The Supreme Court has today asked the Union Government to send a response on the progress of implementation of new emission norms for coal-based power plants, which will come into effect from December 2017. The apex court issued this notice in response to the Interlocutory Application (IA) filed by a senior advocate and amicus curiae Harish Salve in the ongoing air pollution case of M. C. Mehta. vs. Union of India and others.

The Union government has to respond by December 4.

In his application, Salve argued that the Centre should consider implementing the 2015 emission standards for power plants as per schedule. In view of the severe air pollution crisis and exponential rise in health costs, Salve stressed on the fact that improving quality of fuel used for combustion "would be the most beneficial long-term measure to improve air quality in the Delhi-NCR region".

The latest analysis of the coal-based power sector by Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) indicates that the sector is all set to avoid complying with the new emission norms that will come into effect shortly.  Power companies now want extension for up to five years to implement the cleaner norms.

These new norms, enacted by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) in December 2015, for the first time, set limits on Sox (sulphur dioxide), NOx (nitrogen oxides) and PM (particulate matter).

Of the total emissions from the industrial sector, the power sector alone contributes 60 per cent of the PM, 45 per cent of the Sox, 30 per cent of the NOx and 80 per cent of the mercury emissions.

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