Down To Earth brings you the top environmental cases heard in the Supreme Court, the high courts and the National Green Tribunal
NGT asks Delhi and Uttar Pradesh to comply with Bio-Medical Waste Rules by June end
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on April 29 directed the Uttar Pradesh State Pollution Control Board and the Delhi Pollution Control Committee to ensure compliance of the Bio-Medical Waste (Management and Handling) Rules 2016 by June 30, 2019.
The Tribunal added that compliance of the rules should ensure scientific disposal of medical waste to prevent damage to the environment and public health and stringent action should be taken in terms of prosecution and recovery of compensation against health care facilities, which are found to be non-compliant.
Laying down conditions for EC not enough unless compliance not monitored: NGT to MoEF&CC
The NGT on April 29 said that mere laying down of Environmental Clearance conditions was not enough unless there was monitoring of compliance and noted that there was no monitoring to the extent of 92 per cent in category-B and 33 per cent in category-A projects.
The Tribunal directed the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) to take remedial measures by incorporating the requirement of recovery of compensation for the violation of environmental conditions. The Order further added that there should be a mechanism to provide for 100% checking of EC conditions with respect to category-A projects and a reasonable percentage of category-B projects.
Coal ash deposited in forest near village of Babuchakli in Odisha
Justice K Ramakrishnan of the NGT on April 30 heard the petition filed by Sourendri Deheri regarding coal ash dust being deposited in the forest near the village Babuchakli, by Shyam Metalics & Energy, village Pandloi, Sambalpur district, Odisha. The NGT directed the constitution of a joint committee consisting of the District Magistrate-cum-District Collector Sambalpur, District Forest Officer and Senior Scientist of the State Pollution Control Board to conduct an inspection of the unit. The Committee has been directed to submit a factual and action-taken report in this regard within a period of two months.
Standards for STPs to remain same all over India: NGT
The NGT on April 30 said that there is no justification for diluted effluent discharge standards for areas other than mega and metropolitan cities. The water quality standards are required to be same for the population of major cities or other cities. The Tribunal said this in the wake of the Expert Committee report submitted by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel and Justice K Ramakrishnan said that “major population of this country will be affected by diluted standards and only persons in mega and metropolitan cities will have comparatively better standards without any valid reason or distinction” and ordered that standards recommended for mega and metropolitan cities would also apply to rest of the country. Further, the MoEF&CC has been directed to issue an appropriate notification in the matter within a period of one month.
Restrict import of plastic waste: NGT to CPCB
The issue of import of cheap waste paper and road sweep waste for firing of brick kilns came up for hearing before the NGT on April 30. The CPCB had submitted a report on the issue which acknowledged that import of plastic waste needed to be restricted as the hazardous waste generated in the country was to the extent of 26,000 tonnes a day and the same was not being properly managed. Further, the CPCB had also evolved guidelines for collection, segregation and disposal of plastic waste.
The NGT, after going through the case, directed the CPCB to take action for ensuring that its recommendation were fully implemented by all concerned in the matter of implementation of Plastic Waste Management Rules and a restriction on the import of plastic waste be looked into.
Industry in Ballabgarh illegally extracting groundwater even after closure orders
The NGT on April 30 ordered the Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB) to take necessary action for assessment and recovery of compensation for illegal extraction of ground water by RR Industries at Village & PO Macchgar, Tehsil Ballabgarh, District Faridabad.
A report submitted by the HSPCB along with the Deputy Commissioner, Faridabad and Central Ground Water Authority showed that the unit was in operation even after closure orders in 2016.
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