Daily Court Digest: Major environment orders (August 26, 2019)

Down To Earth brings you the top environmental cases heard in the Supreme Court, the high courts and the National Green Tribunal

By DTE Staff
Published: Monday 26 August 2019
Photo: Getty Images

NGT shots down MoEF&CC plea for extension of time for CPAs

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on August 23, 2019 disposed of an application filed by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) to review action plan for environmental improvement of critically polluted areas (CPAs).

The MoEF&CC had filed an application for review of the order of the NGT dated July 10, 2019. The ministry while seeking review said that it was yet to take a final view in the matter of protocol to be followed by states/ Union Territories for implementation of CPAs.

Current Comprehensive Environmental Pollution Index (CEPI) framework needs to be reviewed and asked for six months time for policy framework and one year for implementation and till then “ban on expansion/ setting up new industries may be kept in abeyance.”

“Pendency of such steps can be no justification for not enforcing the existing pollution norms and applying the ‘Sustainable’ ‘Precautionary’ and ‘Polluter Pays’ principles on the basis of data available,” the tribunal said.

The tribunal also clarified that industrial units which are found to be environmentally compliant would not be barred to set up and directed the MoEF&CC to devise an appropriate mechanism to ensure that “new legitimate activity or expansion can take place after due precautions are taken in the areas in question by ‘red’ and ‘orange’ category of units.”

HCNG station at Rajghat

The NGT on August 23 disposed of an application to ratify the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) approval for setting up of demonstration unit of 4 tonne per day hydrogen compressed natural gas (HCNG) at the Delhi Transport Corporation’s Rajghat Depot 1.

The NGT expressed no opinion and granted “liberty to the concerned statutory authorities to go into the merits in accordance with law.”

The matter was adjourned in July to enable the applicant to approach the monitoring committee. The monitoring committee observed that the project can be allowed without any permanent structure and without altering the features of flood plains’ of Yamuna river. There should also be no liquid waste discharged on the flood plains.

Juna Deesa dump yard

The NGT on August 22 directed the Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) to follow Solid Waste Management Rules (SWM), 2016 in the case of unscientific disposal of municipal waste by the Deesa Nagarpalika at Banaskantha district.

It was alleged that waste was being disposed off for many years in a dump yard located in village Juna Deesa which was a grazing land in close proximity of human habitation.

“Appropriate action is being taken by the GPCB in ensuring that the waste disposal facility is brought in accord with the SWM Rules, 2016,” according to a report by the GPCB.  The NGT accepted the findings of the report and directed the GPCB to ensure that the action proposed in respect of disposal of legacy waste be dealt with meticulously in accordance with the procedure prescribed under the SWM Rules, 2016.

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